Brave Westonians take on the London Marathon 2017
PUBLISHED: 10:07 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:38 21 April 2017
As the weekend nears, spare a thought for the Weston runners who will embark on a 26.2-mile race for some of Britain’s worthiest causes.
Seven runners from in and around Weston have been training tirelessly over the past few months to prepare themselves for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon.
These brave North Somerset athletes will be supporting a variety of charities at Sunday’s race – and all of them will be hoping to raise as much money as possible.
If you are at the London Marathon this weekend support someone from the area, take their picture before, during or after the race and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Elkins, aged 20, will follow in his mother’s footsteps in his first-ever marathon.
The Weston runner will raise money for Crimestoppers while tackling the gruelling course.
His mum, Cheryl, works for the police and various friends and relations have been victims of crime, including a family friend who was murdered many years ago.
Crimestoppers is an independent charity which empowers witnesses to speak up when they have information about a crime.
Last year, Cheryl completed the marathon in five hours and 58 minutes.
Ryan said: “While I am a little bit nervous about the occasion, overall I am positive about it. I am hoping to beat my mum’s time – which is the big challenge.”
To donate to Ryan, click here
Laura Nash, aged 27, will be supporting a popular Weston charity at the race on Sunday.
She is hoping to raise £2,000 for Weston Hospicecare which she says has an ‘important place’ in her heart.
Laura’s mum, Jill, works at the charity as the in-patient unit manager.
Laura said: “I could not be more proud of the work mum and all of the staff at the hospice provide every single day to all their patients and their families and friends.
“As a charity which provides all of its services free of charge and only receives 21 per cent of its £3.5million a year running costs from the NHS, they really do rely on the money you donate.”
Laura has been running for several years on and off but she has never completed a run of this distance before.
To donate to Laura Nash, click here
Gill Constable will be raising money for a North Somerset children’s support charity.
Gill works for Springboard Opportunity Group, which provides support to change the lives of children with additional needs and disabilities.
This is Gill’s seventh marathon and she is an active member of Cheddar Running Club.
She said: “I have been involved in Springboard since its early days and have seen the progress of the organisation over the years.
“I have also been part of the team helping children to take huge steps in their development during their time with us and I am very proud to be running the marathon for such a magnificent organisation.”
To donate to Gill, click here
Weston mum Carole Craddock is supporting a North Somerset children’s charity which has done a lot for her and her son Oliver.
Carole will also be running the marathon for Springboard Opportunity Group alongside Gill Constable.
She said: “Without the wonderful women at Springboard supporting us and Oliver, who has autism.
“He would not be doing as well as he is and we would have nowhere to turn for advice and a friendly ear.”
Springboard’s joint CEO Ann Ramsey said: “We are especially grateful to both Gill and Carole for taking part for Springboard and bringing us into the public eye in the way which only the London Marathon can.
“They really are going above and beyond for Springboard and we wish them both the very best of luck.”
To donate to Carole, click here
Ashley Beynon will be raising money for a national children’s charity, the NSPCC, which helps youngsters in need.
Ashley, aged 34, said: “I consider myself very lucky in terms of my upbringing. I had a loving family and friends and I was quite fortunate in terms of my health and wellbeing.
“I thought this charity was most deserving of it as a lot of these kids do not have a choice.”
Ashley, from Weston, has enjoyed a successful training plan and completed the Brighton Marathon a few weeks ago in four hours and 44 minutes.
He added: “It was very warm in Brighton and the time I did it in is quite slow for me. I hope the weather in London is a bit cooler and I can get a better time on Sunday.”
To donate to Ashley, click here
Paul Cousins hopes to break a world record at this year’s marathon by dressing up as a helicopter.
He will be raising money for the Bone Cancer Research Trust in memory of Mary Collard, who died from bone cancer at the age of 11.
Paul, aged 49, will be completing the 26.2-mile run in fancy dress in the hope of securing the Guinness World Record for the fastest male runner in a 3D aircraft costume.
Paul has so far raised more than £3,000 for the charity.
His JustGiving page says: “I have run this a couple of times before and in fancy dress so this year I thought I would go a step further and try to set a Guinness World Record.
“I could not be more grateful to everyone who has donated to date. Let’s hope I can raise more for such a good cause.”
To donate to Paul, click here
Victoria Evans will be raising money in memory of her mum, Mary, who passed away four years ago from a rare form of Parkinson’s.
Victoria, aged 36, will be raising money for Parkinson’s UK’s Weston branch, which holds a number of meetings and days out for people who suffer with the disease.
She said: “I was so sad when my mum did and this marathon has certainly made me remember all the laughs we once shared. I know she is up there supporting me and cheering me on.
“I want to raise awareness and give something back to the local group.”
To donate to Victoria, click here
Natalie Bird will be raising money for the Meningitis Research Foundation in support of her nephew.
Natalie, aged 40, said she feels ‘nervous’ about her first London Marathon on Sunday but was ‘excited’ to support the charity close to her heart.
She added: “Three years ago my nephew contacted the deadly form of Meningitis. Thankfully he is alive today because of the miracle of modern medicine, the work Meningitis Research Foundation do, and very specifically antibiotics.
“He has both his legs, his sight, his hearing and a fully functioning brain.
“We are eternally grateful to those in research and development who develop new treatments for Meningitis.”
To donate to Natalie, click here