Sidmouth marthon runners do it for Lauren
RUNNING the London Marathon this year gave John Podmore the chance to thank a children s charity for its support at a time of crisis.
RUNNING the London Marathon this year gave John Podmore the chance to thank a children's charity for its support at a time of crisis.
For John, 62, of Glebelands, did the 26.2 mile run in memory of his granddaughter Lauren, who died of spinal muscular atrophy aged just three.
"I always wanted to do something in her memory and when we moved to Sidmouth three years ago I joined Sidmouth Running Club. It was the members that gave me the inspiration to do it," he said.
Supported by his wife Carol and family, including Lauren's parents Lisa and Mark Hampstead, London-born John, a retired fireman, completed the marathon in 4hrs 35 min. and raised �2,500 for Children's Hospice South West.
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Not only did he undertake the challenge, but so too did Sidmouth hairdresser Becky Robson, who finished her third London Marathon in a personal best of 4.05 hours, and raised a further �1,000 for the charity.
Becky, 39, who runs The Hair Temple, said: "I wanted to run the marathon for John. He is a really good friend of mine and I really wanted to help him raise money to say thank you to the hospice for them helping his granddaughter Lauren."
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John said he was grateful to all Sidmouth Running Club members who ran with him for his long distance training in the cold winter months.
"I had a lot of encouragement and the club has been brilliant. Without them it would have been a hell of a struggle.
"When you get to the start of the run you forget it is 26 miles, you have to take one step at a time."
For a while he ran alongside Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson, who was dressed as a butterfly.
"I wished him all the best and said he wouldn't be able to wing this one," said John.
Would he do it again? "I went online on Wednesday morning and all the spaces had gone. I didn't realise there were so many nutters out there!