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Sunday, 19 May 2019
THIRTY friends and family ran a half marathon in memory of a man who took his own life last year.
Saturday would have been Adam Payne’s 37th birthday so they decided to take on the 13.1-mile challenge around Victoria Park in London to raise money for mental health charities.
The group included members of the Sunday Run Club, which was set up by Mr Payne’s sister Emma after his death in October because she wanted to promote the idea of keeping active in mind and body.
Mr Payne, who lived in Hurley and had a daughter and stepson, loved sport, especially rowing, tennis and golf, and played for Henley Rugby Club.
Miss Payne, 31, from Sonning Common, said the runners and their 30 supporters enjoyed the day.
She said: “It was great. We left Henley in a coach at 7am and the race started at 9.30am. We were on a high at the beginning, having been up early. The adrenaline was pumping and everybody was very excited.
“The race looped six times, passing our own supporters who fuelled us with Jelly Babies and shouts of support.
“It was nice to have that support as we went round — it was about doing it together. The course was also littered with event organisers with tambourines and steel drums — a great atmosphere that Adam would have loved.”
Miss Payne said the runners wore matching T-shirts and the fastest was Dean Thatcher, from Henley.
She completed the race in two-and-a-half hours with her other brother Matt and friends Hugo Gentilli and Micky Molloy, the last members of the group to finish.
Miss Payne said: “At one point we were battling against the wind and running into it and Matt looked up and said, ‘Damn you, Adam’ as it felt like he was laughing at us.
“The people who ran more quickly than us were all standing along the finish line cheering us on.
“Mum and dad greeted us — it was sad that Adam wasn’t there to finish with us.
“At lunch in the pub afterwards we raised a sambuca shot to Adam.” The runners’ next event will be a half marathon in either Reading oe Oxford.
The Sunday Run Club events, which are open to all, are organised by Lou Porter, who won a Henley Heroes award last year for her charitable work and for setting up the Nettlebed Stingers netball team.
They are chiefly held around Henley and Nettlebed and range in length from six miles to 10 miles.
The next fund-raising event will be a dusk till dawn ball at Bicester Hotel on July 27.
Miss Payne has set up a crowdfunding page to raise £5,000 for charities including Mind and the Ways and Means Trust in Peppard, which supports adults with mental ill health. A total of £6,240 has been raised so far.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/
To join the running club, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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