Every member of Rennie Grove’s 15-strong London Marathon team completed the world-famous 26-mile, 385 yard route on Sunday 24 March. Joining around 38,000 people on the start line, the Rennie Grove runners - proudly sporting the charity’s pink and purple spotted running vests - contended with chilly breezes and wintry showers as they tackled the capital’s streets.
The charity had a cheer squad between miles 17 and 18, opposite South Quay station, where staff, volunteers and runners’ family members - surrounded by flags and balloons - gave the runners some moral support for the last six miles.
Rennie Grove Director of Fundraising & Marketing, Gillian Barnett, said: “The crowds lining the route are always fantastic but hopefully the sight of some familiar faces gave them a boost at that challenging three-quarters-of-the-way-through point.”
Nick Hunt, from Bierton near Aylesbury, achieved a personal best time of 4 hours 47 seconds. He said: “It was a truly remarkable day. The weather was perfect, albeit a bit sleety and cold to start with! I am so chuffed to have achieved a personal best. The support was fantastic, both along the route and from the team at Rennie Grove and I am pleased to have raised funds for such a worthy charity and this really motivated me in the closing miles.”
Amy Martin, from High Wycombe, finished in 4hrs 38mins and has raised almost £4,500 for Rennie Grove after the charity cared for her Dad last year. She said: “It was the most incredible experience. It was hard, overwhelming at times, but the most amazing event to be a part of. Thank you London! Thank you Rennie Grove for the opportunity. I hope I made my Dad proud.” Read more about Amy’s motivation or sponsor her at: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AmyMartin10
Dr Lucy Spanswick, a GP practising at The Cross Keys Surgery in Princes Risborough, said: “I am elated to have finished it! Support from the crowds, my family and friends and from the staff and volunteers at Rennie Grove was amazing. I finished in 4 hours 43 minutes. I was pretty pleased with that for a first attempt at a marathon! And people’s generosity with my sponsorship has been incredible.” Lucy has raised over £2,200 so far. Top up her total at: www.justgiving.com/LucySpanswick
Debbie Brown, from Hemel, had her family out in force to cheer her on. She said: “I loved every minute of it! It was amazing to experience London without traffic and see all the beautiful buildings and landmarks like Tower Bridge. Around 24 miles I felt a bit emotional - it was getting hard and I was slowing down – but then I thought that as a team we’ve raised enough to fund a nurse for a year and that really spurred me on.”
Gillian added: “There was great camaraderie amongst our runners, some of whom had got to know each other quite well through our series of meet-the-team events, including the traditional team photo shoot in February and our pre-race pasta party last week.” The team took the opportunity to consume vast quantities of carbohydrates at The Robin Hood Pub in Tring whilst comparing last-minute notes about their gruelling training regimes and fundraising efforts.
The 2016 team has already raised in excess of £34,000 for Rennie Grove’s services for families affected by cancer and other life-limiting illness – enough to fund a Hospice at Home nurse for over a year and giving hundreds of patients access to 24/7 responsive care in their own homes.
If you’re lucky enough to gain a marathon place in the 2017 ballot, why not join the Rennie Grove team next year? You’ll benefit from regular ‘meet-the-team’ evenings; weekly email training tips and nutrition advice; personalised fundraising resources; the pre-race pasta party; cheer squad at mile 18 and a post-event reunion. And you’ll be helping to fund a unique service in the heart of your community. Call 01442 820740 to find out more.