Locals look forward to marathon

PUBLISHED: 17:01 07 March 2014

Hornchurch Athletic's Sam Samarasekera

Hornchurch Athletic's Sam Samarasekera


London event drawing closer

Upminster's Viv and Tony DanceUpminster's Viv and Tony Dance

Local sportsmen and women are finalising their training for the London Marathon on April 13.

And Hornchurch Athletic cricketer Sam Samarasekera revealed he is ahead of his schedule at this point.

Samarasekera captained his side to a Mid-Essex League title last year and is running his first-ever marathon in aid of Children with Cancer.

He said: “I thought it was a fantastic cause and the charity offers a chance at life for children that otherwise would have none.

“Training is going well. My furthest road run so far is 17.2 miles I and did that in 2:30.57 which is 8.45 per mile. Slightly faster than I hoped at this stage which is encouraging!”

Samarasekera has included non-impact cardio exercises such as rowing as part of hs training, but picked up some little injuries along the way.

Nonetheless, he says he is hoping to finish in under four and a half hours.

He added: “People have been very generous and Laura Williams, a school friend and physio, has done all my sports massage (email

“She has sorted all my little niggles out free of charge as her contribution. She has been fantastic!”

Anyone wishing to donate can do so at

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n Upminster Hockey Club’s Tony Dance is running the marathon with wife Viv, having recovered from a broken leg suffered almost two years ago.

They ran in the Silverstone Half Marathon at the weekend, Viv finishing in 1:59 and Tony in 2:06, but have been forced to rethink their target times on April 14.

“Rather than aiming for a 4:15 finish we are just hoping to make it to the end,” said Tony.

“Training is going well. Poor Viv has been suffering with pulled muscles and blisters and I, touch wood, have been relatively trouble free.

“I know I have a lot of miles to get under my belt before April, but the knowledge that I am running for such a fantastic charity “React”, will hopefully help me along my way.

“React is a wonderful organisation working to improve the quality of life for children with life-limiting illnesses living in financially disadvantaged households throughout the UK.

“We have funded my own race entry fees so every penny you donate, no matter how small, will go directly towards React enabling them to help more families in need.”

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