London Marathon 2018: Havering runners take on 26.2 mile challenge in hottest marathon on record

PUBLISHED: 17:55 23 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:41 25 April 2018

Sue Spong running the 2018 London Marathon is one of several runners from Havering who took on the challenge.

Sue Spong running the 2018 London Marathon is one of several runners from Havering who took on the challenge.


Hot temperatures of 24 degrees didn’t deter these Havering London Marathon runners who took on the 26.2 mile challenge in record heat.

The Recorder caught up with several determined runners from the borough who ran this year’s London Marathon on Sunday, April 22.

Runner, Chris Hobson spoke about how the weather was challenging for the participants, but just right for the spectators.

“It was a very heart-warming experience, when you’re running with the runners it was great to see the amount of humanity that people showed towards each other, which you might not see on a normal day in London.”

Chis, who is headmaster and CEO of the Hornchurch Academy Trust managed to raise £2,200 for Heart UK, a charity which he chose to support after he was diagnosed with the same heart condition that a 12-year-old pupil died of.

“It went well, I ran it in three hours and 50 minutes.

“It was my quickest time, and in the most difficult conditions.”

Andrew Brownlie, 22, wanted to run the marathon after watching his father complete the race twice as a young boy.

He was due to finish the race in three hours and 45 mins, however at mile 25, Andrew’s legs collapsed from under him and he dropped to the floor.

“I desperately tried to pull myself up but my legs just wouldn’t function,” said Andrew.

Andrew Brownlie with a London Marathon runner who helped him walk back into the race after he collapsed from exhaustion and heat stroke. Picture: Marathon FotoAndrew Brownlie with a London Marathon runner who helped him walk back into the race after he collapsed from exhaustion and heat stroke. Picture: Marathon Foto

“That was my last memory, before waking up 20 mins later in St John’s Ambulance on-site Trent.

“It turns out a kind man had dragged me some distance to get me to the finish line before I collapsed again, which I can’t remember.”

A doctor told Andrew that he had collapsed due to sun stroke and exhaustion, after an hour and half of recovery he felt able to continue.

He added: “Nothing was going to stop me after all the months of training and all the money raised for the great charity that is Saint Francis Hospice, in memory of my Grandad who passed away with kidney cancer in 2014.

“I burst into a small jog to crawl over the line and it was the happiest and most relieved I’ve ever felt.”

Helen Graham, 41, assistant head at Whybridge Junior School in Blacksmith Lane, also took part in the marathon.

She told the Recorder: “The atmosphere was absolutely amazing.

“It was really hard work for my first marathon, but it went well.”

Helen raised £5,400 for Bliss, more than doubling her initial target of £2,500.

She chose to fundraise for the charity because Bliss supported her after her son was born 32 weeks early.

Katie Beal, 35, from Derby Avenue in Upminster, described the experience of taking part in her first marathon as, “electric”.

She raised £13,771 for Pancreatic Cancer UK, a charity that she was inspired to support after she had a pre-cancerous tumour removed from her pancreas in August, 2016.

“It went really well, it was just long. The atmosphere was amazing - the crowd, the support - it was just phenomenal,” Katie said.

“It was a really nice experience just being on the other side of the barrier for once.

“You get to see London from a completely different point of view.”

Sue Broadway, 55, from Rainham said completing the marathon was an extremely emotional experience.

Four days before the marathon she attended the funeral of her boyrfriend Gary Holden, who died from of oesophageal cancer.

Before he passed, Gary had been helping Sue train and had chosen mile nine as his dedicated mile.

She said: “It was physically hard as well as being emotionally hard.

“Three of my children joined me about 600 metres from the finish line and they ran with me until I went through the barrier.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Last week the Recorder reported that Gary Holden was Sue Broadway’s husband, this was incorrect as Gary was Sue’s boyfriend.

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