Runners take on marathon for hospice

Runners who will be raising funds for Wigan and Leigh Hospice as they take part in the London Marathon 2016
Runners who will be raising funds for Wigan and Leigh Hospice as they take part in the London Marathon 2016

Meet the intrepid team of runners taking on the world-famous London Marathon in aid of one of the borough’s biggest charities.

Seven people will be on the start line for the 26.2-mile challenge to raise money for Wigan and Leigh Hospice (WLH) this year.

Ahead of the marathon the team members spoke of their motivations for taking on one of the biggest challenges in athletics and their desire to support the Hindley-based charity.

David Fitzgerald, from Hindley, signed up after doing last year’s Blackpool Marathon, having begun running about two years ago after starting to go to the gym in order to lose weight.

David, 46, said: “I lost about three and a half stone at the gym and discovered I could run. I started doing 10ks and built up to the half marathon before fancying the challenge of the full marathon.

“I did Blackpool last year and while that was a nice little event it’s nothing compared to the scale of the London one and the size of the crowds. I’m going for a target of under four hours. It’s crackers really.

“I thought it would be daft to run marathons and not do some charity fund-raising and I’m Hindley lad born and bred, so I couldn’t find a better local charity than the hospice.”

Also on the start line will be Aspull runner Helen Summer, who is tackling her first marathon to tick it off her bucket list of challenges.

Helen, 31, said: “It’s a lifetime ambition and I’m both excited and scared for the big. People have told me you can’t help but enjoy the atmosphere but I am a bit apprehensive.

“I’ve joined the endurance group at Wigan Harriers for training and they’ve been really supportive.”

The hospice’s other runners include 34-year-old marathon debutant Gary Prescott from Lowton and the charity’s wellbeing centre manager Jacqueline White, who is running to mark her 40th birthday.