Tonbridge Half Marathon runners ensure charities are the real winners

Hattie Harrison Fran Taylor

One group of determined local runners raised a momentous £16,000 for the charity Chasing Connor’s Cure at Sunday’s Tonbridge Half Marathon.

A 27-strong group took part in the event to generate funds and awareness for Hildenborough boy Connor Crawford, aged four.

In February, Connor was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a rare muscle disease that attacks the lungs and eventually leads to premature loss of life.

Many of the runners were raising money from sponsorship for their own chosen causes, additionally, the Half Marathon organisers always choose a selection of local charities to receive donations from the funds raised from the event.

This year they decided to adopt the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust into their group of charities as a display of appreciation after last year’s dramatic scenes, when a competitor went into cardiac arrest.

The air ambulance team were vital in saving the life of Barney Brurgess, who made a swift recovery. Barney said he was pleased that the air ambulance is to benefit from this year’s race as it is entirely funded by donations.

He said: “They are a fantastic organisation and attend getting on for 2,000 incidents a year. I had assumed they would get NHS funding, but that’s not the case, so they need our support to raise their annual running costs of over £8million.”

Other organisations who will benefit from the marathon funds include Tonbridge Cottage Hospital, which provides rehabilitative care for both inpatients and outpatients, and Compaid, who provide support services for disabled people in Kent.

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