"It was the most incredible day of my life" - Suffolk runners reflect on completing the London Marathon
PUBLISHED: 12:41 25 April 2016 | UPDATED: 17:18 25 April 2016
Runners across Suffolk are today nursing aching legs as they celebrate the momentous achievement of completing the London Marathon.
More than 39,000 people lined up for the 26.2-mile course across England’s capital city yesterday, with hundreds of runners taking part from Suffolk.
Among them was Rushmere woman Emma Tucker, 43, who has raised in excess of £2,700 for the Teenage Cancer Trust as a thanks for the support they offered her nephew Josh, who was diagnosed with cancer at just 19-years-old.
“It was the most incredible day of my life, but also the most horrendous,” said Mrs Tucker, co-owner of Kesgrave salon Little Luxuries. “It was so tough.”
She completed the course in just over six hours, having been required to stop and receive medical treatment when her temperature plummeted before the 18-mile mark.
She was joined by her family, including nephew Josh, now 20, and sons Ethan, 12, and Roan, eight, to walk the final four miles.
“I ended up walking the last six miles because I just felt so awful,” she said. “The best bit of the day was about four miles before the end, my family were all there and they were able to come and walk with me right to the finish. That really lifted me along.
“To walk the last few miles with them and to have my nephew there was just amazing. It’s just over a year ago he was diagnosed and he’s had 12 months of really intense treatment.
“The atmosphere is just incredible, it just keeps you going.”
To support Mrs Tucker and donate to the Teenager Cancer Trust, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/emma-tucker
The EADT’s very own managing editor for Suffolk, Liz Nice, achieved her childhood dream to complete the marathon route in honour of her brother Mark, who died of cot death aged three months old.
She completed the 26.2-miles in 5 hours 18 minutes, raising more than £3,000 for The Lullaby Trust, a charity which researches sudden infant death, promotes safe sleeping and supports the families affected.
“The experience was incredible and unrepeatable,” said the mum-of-two, from Bury St Edmunds. “The support never lets up all the way around and it is almost surreal to be actually doing something that you have watched on television all your life.
“I loved it and crossing the line was the biggest relief ever - although part of me never wanted it to be over.”
Also among the ranks on Sunday was Haughley man Tom Barker, who completed the marathon in four hours 52 minutes and has so far raised more than £2,300 for the Suffolk Disability Care Fund.
Mr Barker, 32, said: “It was brilliant, terrible and everything in-between, but ultimately rewarding in the end.
“The highs included the crowd at Cutty Sark and at Tower Bridge and seeing friends and family along the route - with the occasional high five - and running up The Mall.
“The lows, of which there were quite a few, included feeling like my legs were falling off, seeing other runners seven miles ahead near the Isle of Dogs and getting really, really hungry.
“Thank you to each and every one of you for all the support you gave me along the way, not only financial but also all the messages, texts and emails. I really appreciate it and it spurred me on to complete the marathon.”
Mr Barker is the first man to have completed the London Marathon for the Suffolk Disability Care Fund, a charity run with support from the Suffolk Community Foundation.
To donate to the cause, visit www.justgiving.com/Tom-Barker11
Framlingham businessman Bill Bulstrode, 62, who completed the event in 4 hours 58 minutes - and all the while donning a bowler hat and the Suffolk flag - has raised a further £4,700 for the Alzheimer’s Society.
The Framlingham personality, who owns Bulstrodes, completed the marathon in memory of his late father-in-law Maurice Cobb, who died four years ago after a battle with dementia.
“It was brilliant,” he said. “The first 13 miles we were up to speed. When we turned over Tower Bridge things became a bit tougher, but I knew there were people from Framlingham [watching] along the embankment so I had to run.
“I’m just chuffed to bits to have raised the money, with help from my customers, friends and family who have all sponged in.
“Alzheimer’s is absolutely horrible, so I’m chuffed to bits.”
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/Bill-Bulstrode
More than £9,000 was raised for Asthma UK by four runners from across Suffolk and north Essex.
Matt Thomas, 29 from Leiston, raised over £4,000; Andrew White, 27 from Colchester, raised over £1,600; Anna Barton, 31 from Kesgrave, raised over £2,400 and Ray Castle, 61 from Colchester, raised over £1,000.
They completed the course in 3 hours 24 minutes, 3 hours 38 minutes, 4 hours 14 minutes and 4 hours 25 minutes respectively.
Kerry Johns, head of events and community fundraising at Asthma UK, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you and congratulations.
“Every ten seconds someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack in the UK, which is why we fund research to help develop new treatments and ultimately a cure for asthma.
“We are solely funded by public donations, so we simply wouldn’t be able to continue with our work without people like Ray and our team of fantastic runners.”
Meanwhile, Northgate High School pupil Jessica Fletcher, 15, completed the Mini London Marathon - a three mile road championships for athletes aged between 11 and 17, run by British Athletics - in 22minutes 38 seconds.
Jessica has Arthrogryposis, a condition that has left her with tightened lower limbs, and requires the use of a wheelchair. She raised £200 for Caudwell Children, which helped to fund a specialist sports wheelchair for her.
“I loved the race,” she said. “It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to take part again next year.
“However, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
“I’ve been competing in sport for more than five years now and my ambition is to become a professional athlete.
“I’ve progressed from wheelchair slalom, polybat and new age kurling to racing and I absolutely love the sport. However, until recently I didn’t own my own sports wheelchair which made it extremely difficult to compete.”
Did you take part in the London Marathon yesterday? Email firstname.lastname@example.org