Town’s runners raise thousands as the London Marathon returns

Nusrat Ghani

Joining 40,000 athletes from around the globe, residents, including Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark, took on the 26-mile race, which returned after a year’s absence due to Covid.

Raising money for Hospice in the Weald and Macmillan Cancer Support in his first London Marathon, Mr Clark completed the course in 3 hours and 54 minutes.

He said: “Thanks so much to everyone who encouraged me over the last few weeks, and especially to everyone who sponsored me for these two wonderful charities.

“I lifted my target three times and donations still exceeded it – the money will be put to good work helping people through difficult times.”

He added: “Running my first marathon was a little daunting but the crowds on the day all around the course were astounding – creating a wall of noise to power us onwards.

“There were lots of Tunbridge Wells people in the crowd and it was fantastic to have their enthusiastic support.”

Mr Clark raised £3,685 and was joined at the start line by Development and Communications Director at Hospice in the Weald Victoria (Tor) Edwards running in her first marathon.

Also at this year’s marathon was veteran Paul Newman, competing in his ninth event, who raised £1,500 for Racing Welfare.

Mark Leeds also completed the course, raising £1,500 for Kelly’s Trust, which helps sick children and families in hard times.

Local resident Tam Weaver also undertook the 26-mile run, albeit virtually, running alongside the main event for the Virgin Money Virtual London Marathon to raise £1,000 for Nourish Community Foodbank and Children with Cancer UK.

More than 40,000 runners tackled the traditional 26.2-mile route from Greenwich to The Mall after last year’s race was scrapped due to coronavirus restrictions.


^ FUN RUN Steve Lindsay from Paddock Wood also ran for Hospice in the Weald

^ MEDAL WINNERS Kate Bovey [left] & Jess Farmer from Tunbridge Wells with their golden medals

There were no volunteers hanging medals around the necks of finishers, who instead found their medal in their bag. Those running had to be able to show a negative lateral flow test for Covid-19.

Sisay Lemma became a first-time winner of the men’s race with an impressive run of 2:04:01 while Joyciline Jepkosgei won the women’s elite race in a time of 2:17.42.

Marcel Hug and Manuela Schar both set course records to win the men’s and women’s wheelchair races.

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