‘Emotional day’ as Huddersfield runners return from Virgin London Marathon

THEY did Huddersfield proud.

THEY did Huddersfield proud.

Runners from across the town took part in the Virgin London Marathon yesterday and raised a huge amount of money for charity.

For some there were disappointments while others exceeded their expectations.

And former model Nell McAndrew, who is married to Huddersfield property developer Paul Hardcastle, broke the three-hour mark and was the first celebrity to cross the finish line.

Accountant David Waite, of Highburton, completed the marathon in a fantastic time of three hours 16 minutes, which was well ahead of the three hours 45 minute time he expected.

He said: “It was really quite emotional, the support from the first mile to the finish line is phenomenal.

“I finished with a much better time than I expected and am very happy.

“It is pleasing to know that I have raised a decent amount of money for Get Kids Going – which is a fantastic charity dedicated to supporting disabled children within schools and helping them take part in sports.

“I hit the wall at about 21 miles and then the last five felt as though they were going very slowly.”

It was the 29-year-old Kirkburton FC central midfielder’s first marathon and his supporters included his mum Diane Waite and her partner Dave Shepherd.

In total he has raised around £1,500 for his chosen charity.

Denise Smith suffers from Epilepsy and took on the challenge to raise money for Epilepsy Research UK.

She finished well in her target time and was relieved to have crossed the finish line, having never run that far before.

She said: “I finished in a time of four hours, 13 minutes and 13 seconds, which I am quite pleased with as I had wanted to complete it in between four and four and a half hours.

“It got very tough from about 20 miles, but the crowds really kept you going.”

She was joined by supporters Diane Finan, dad John and mum Val Smith.

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Around 37,500 athletes crossed the finish line of the 26.2-mile course.

In contrast to the rain of Huddersfield, the runners ran in bright sunshine.

Kenyan runners dominated the marathon. Mary Keitany won the women’s title and retained her Virgin London Marathon title with a finishing time of two hours 18 minutes and 36 seconds.

The long distance runner set a new personal best and a Kenyan record in the process.

Wilson Kipsang, also of Kenya, cruised to the finish line in two hours four minutes and 44 seconds, which was four seconds shy of the marathon record.

Briton Shelly Woods won the women’s section of the London Virgin Wheelchair Marathon, coming in at one hour, 49 minutes and 10 seconds.

As well as the elite athletes and fun runners, a host of celebrities crossed the finish line and took home a commemorative medal.

Kirkburton runner Keith Hare is due to complete 12 marathons in 2012, but had to pull out yesterday due to a painful injury.

He said: “It has been a complete disaster.

“I ran the Brighton marathon last week following which I had a twinge in my foot.

“When I woke up yesterday to run the Virgin London Marathon, it was no longer a twinge it was particularly painful.

“My best mate was running, so I became a supporter instead – which when you have to go to all these different parts of the route, is almost harder.

“I was gutted not to be able to run it. However, now I’m just conscious I will have to make it up somewhere down the line.

“I have Manchester next week and Belfast the week after, so hopefully I won’t have to miss out on those, but I am going to head to A&E and find out what is going on.”

Keith began his journey in Barcelona and last week at the Brighton marathon he shaved 20 minutes off his first finishing time of 4hr 50mins.

He said: “If I keep doing that I might be up there with the Kenyan runners eventually.”

He is raising money for several charities, including the NSPCC.

 

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