GALLERY: ‘The pride will last forever’ – Weston-super-Mare’s London Marathon runners celebrate incredible race

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 April 2017

Several Westonians ran in the London Marathon last weekend.

Several Westonians ran in the London Marathon last weekend.

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A record number of competitors took to the capital’s streets to raise money for worthy causes in Sunday’s London Marathon – and Weston runners were out in full force.

A group of marathon runners raise money for Bone Cancer Research Trust.A group of marathon runners raise money for Bone Cancer Research Trust.

More than 40,000 people tackled the gruelling 26.2-mile race, the biggest turnout in its history.

Twenty-two members from Weston Athletic Club took part in the race, including Paul Cousins who secured a Guiness World Record for becoming the fastest person to complete a marathon while dressed as a helicopter.

Mr Cousins, aged 49, completed the course in five hours and three minutes and has so far raised more than £4,400 for the Bone Cancer Research Trust in memory of Mary Collard – an 11-year-old Weston girl who lost her battle with the disease in 2012.

He said: “It was so hard and there were points when I wanted to stop and walk for a bit, but the crowd really gets behind you and help carry you around.”

Rob Lewis completed his marathon run in six hours and has raised more than £1,200 for Cancer Research UK.

Mr Lewis said the atmosphere was ‘amazing’ and crowd was ‘very supportive’.

He added: “Complete strangers cheered my name and encouraged me during the tough parts.”

Gary Morgan finished in four hours and 28 minutes.

Paul Cousins at the race finish with his Guinness world record certificate for running the marathon as a helicopter.Paul Cousins at the race finish with his Guinness world record certificate for running the marathon as a helicopter.

He raised £2,561 for The British Lung Foundation in memory of his father, who died three and a half years ago from a breathing condition.

Natalie Bird, aged 40, has raised £2,500 for the Meningitis Research Foundation in support of her nephew.

She said: “I am very sore but it was a wonderful experience which will stay with me forever.

“It was such a good day and the crowd were amazing. The pain will only stay a few days but the pride will last forever.”

Laura Nash, who ran for Weston Hospicecare, said the experience was ‘incredible’ and taught her to ‘grab hold of life with both hands’.

She said: “I had an amazing day and, when times got tough, the support and donations from everyone really helped me dig deep and keep going.”


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