Women return after marathon effort

By Rebecca SheppardTWO women have returned to their Essex homes after putting in a marathon effort in France to raise funds for charity.Leoni Marks and Louise Montrose , both from Great Totham, took part in a relay from Dieppe to Paris.

By Rebecca Sheppard

TWO women have returned to their Essex homes after putting in a marathon effort in France to raise funds for charity.

Leoni Marks and Louise Montrose , both from Great Totham, took part in a relay from Dieppe to Paris. With two other women, they covered 137 miles, which is further than five marathons, in 61 hours and raised more than £15,000 for the Dr Edwin Doubleday Fund.

Dr Edwin Doubleday was killed three years ago in a freak accident at the age of 23, just before he was due to take his final medical exams.


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The fund was set up shortly afterwards to promote the development of non-clinical medical training. It concentrates on building a positive relationship between patients and doctors and is supported by a number of trustees and advisory members, including the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev John Perry.

Dr Doubleday's father, John Doubleday, who is secretary of the charity and lives in Great Totham, took the first steps to raise money for the fund in 2001 when he was sponsored to run in the London Marathon in a dinner jacket.

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Fundraisers, including Tony LaRoche from Great Totham, have since followed his example and walked through Spain on a pilgrimage and on April 11 the relay in France began.

Mrs Marks, 37, returned from France on Saturday . Yesterday she said: "I like running and I have four children to chase after so I am quite fit, but it was great to have something to run for.

"It was amazing. The first day was very painful but we all encouraged each other and got through it. "When John asked me to do the relay he said 'do you fancy running to Paris for lunch?' so we finished the race by running to the Arc de Triomphe, where we had lunch with the British Ambassador in France, Sir John Holmes."

Mr Doubleday said: "This really was a heroic effort and a lifetime experience for the runners.

"I had warned the four women to expect it would be demanding and at times they would be in tears. But they were so determined I was weeping with admiration. It was great the ambassador also recognised their achievement in a most generous way.

"We would love to extend the routes so the relay runs from the Arctic Circle to the Sahara."

The money from the Dieppe to Paris relay will enable the trust to approach grant organisations for further funding. For more information on the charity please visit www.doubledayfund.org.

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