London Marathon 2017: Havering runners celebrate their fundraising achievements

PUBLISHED: 11:21 25 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:21 25 April 2017

Lucy Bernard-Qureshi with Clare McPartland and Sam Edwards from Saint Francis Hospice

Lucy Bernard-Qureshi with Clare McPartland and Sam Edwards from Saint Francis Hospice


As the dust settles on the London Marathon and participants tend to their aches and pains now is the time to acknowledge the charitable efforts of Havering’s many runners.

From doctors and insurance brokers to train workers and mentors, people of all backgrounds took on the 26.2 mile route for a variety of reasons and the Recorder spoke to a few to hear what motivated them to run.

Steve Wheatley:

An employee of National Rail and a prolific marathon runner, 54-year-old Steve competed in his 20th London Marathon yesterday and despite toying with the idea of hanging up his boots he’s now already making plans for next year.

Steve, from Grey Towers Avenue, Hornchurch, ran in aid of the Havering Association for People with Disabilities (Had).

“It was great,” said Steve. “It’s harder as you get older. It was a good run, I enjoyed it. I thought it might be my last one but I think I’ll do one more.

“I’m a little bit sore, my legs ache a bit but it will be all right tomorrow.

“I raised over £1,000, I’m not sure how much it is exactly, but is for my mate’s wife’s charity which she works for.

“I’ll go and see them tomorrow and they can have the medal to put in their office.”

Lucy Bernard-Qureshi:

Pallative care doctor Lucy, 39, completed the marathon in 5 hours 15 minutes and 11 seconds – an impressive time considering she also stopped twice along the way to provide medical assistance.

Lucy raised money for Saint Francis Hospice where she is training to become a consultant.

“I am so pleased to have done it,” she said. “It felt like a real achievement and it was wonderful to see my family and friends cheering along the way.

“I stopped to give medical assistance twice - to a runner with asthma and another who collapsed - until St John Ambulance could take over.

“There were times along the way when it was really hard and I would think of the patients and everyone who was supporting me and it gave me the boost I needed to keep me going.”

Joanna Smith:

The 33-year-old from Gidea Park completed her first marathon and raised an impressive £3,525 for the National Brain Appeal charity.

Joanna’s mother suffers from frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Joanna, as her carer, attends dementia support sessions which are funded by the charity.

“The London Marathon is the hardest thing I have ever done. I can’t quite believe that I actually did it and I feel so proud.

“Taking part in the London Marathon and raising money for The National Brain Appeal is the first thing that I have been able to do that feels positive for my mum.

“She will always be my priority but I also feel like I am beginning to get part of my own life back.”

Alan Daly:

A regular half-marathon runner and tough mudder competitor 28-year-old Alan from Hornchurch took on the famous route on behalf of Saint Francis Hospice where his father was cared for before he died in 2008.

The insurance broker decided to take on the marathon to support those who’ll be cared for at the hospice in the future.

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