Friday, 17 September 2021

Marathon runners could stand the heat

Marathon runners could stand the heat

A WOMAN whose sister had a brain tumour raised more than £4,000 for charity by running this year’s London Marathon.

Annabel Gallifant, of Deanfield Road, Henley, was among the 40,000 runners who braved the sweltering heat to take on the 26.2-mile race in the capital on Sunday.

She crossed the line in five hours and 41 minutes in temperatures reaching 24C, making it the hottest London Marathon in the event’s 38-year history.

Mrs Gallifant, 41, was raising money for Brain Tumour Research as her sister Vanessa Fewell was diagnosed with the astrocytoma tumour in 2016.

Mrs Fewell, 42, from Kent, underwent surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment which finished just before Christmas but she was well enough to spectate on Sunday.

Mrs Gallifant, who is the marketing vice-president of a pharmaceutical company, said: “It was my third marathon and it was the hardest I’ve ever done. I have never run marathons or half-marathons in temperatures like that.

“But I did enjoy it. It was very uplifting when I came over the bridge and I was near to some firefighters who were, unbelievably, running in full kit!

“It was incredible to see so many other runners with causes very close to their hearts like me and it gave me such a huge boost to see Vanessa at mile 23.

“She has been such an inspiration. It has been an incredibly difficult time for her and her family, particularly as they live in the sticks and, having had brain surgery, she has had to give up her driving licence.

“It has had a massive impact on family life and has made it much more challenging getting her to hospital appointments in London.

“Despite it all, Vanessa remains determined to get on with her life, despite an uncertain future.”

Mrs Fewell said: “I am so pleased and proud of my sister and really appreciate the incredible amount she has raised. Anna is amazing. She has a demanding job and two young children and yet she has still found the time and energy to fit in all the training and fund-raising.

“We have received the most phenomenal support from our friends and family. I dearly hope her marathon effort can take us one step closer to the ultimate goal of finding a cure.

“Thank you to everyone for helping us raise awareness and vital funds for such an underfunded and cruel disease.”

To make a donation, visit www.just

Hairdresser Kelly Hargreaves, of Newtown Gardens, Henley, was running the marathon for the third time, having previously taken part with her husband Ian in 2013 and 2014.

As in previous years, the 51-year-old was raising money for diabetes charity JDRF.

In 2012 her nephew Harri Douglas fell ill suddenly and had to be rushed to hospital. He only survived thanks to three days in intensive care after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Mrs Hargreaves, completed the race in five hours and 35 minutes and raised more than £1,600.

She said: “It was extremely hot but the most amazing day. I decided that I wasn’t going to go all out so I took it steady and didn’t beat my best time. It was just a matter of getting round and everyone I’ve spoken to was in agreement.

“There’s something amazing about it that makes it all worthwhile. It was an emotional day, especially going over Tower Bridge. There was so much support among the runners.

“It was great but I’m not sure my husband and family would agree with me doing another one!”

Mrs Hargreaves is holding a raffle to raise more money and will draw tickets at the Three Horseshoes pub in Reading Road on May 12.

To sponsor her, visit visit

Solicitor Peter Hopkins, of Station Road, Henley, completed the marathon in six hours and 15 minutes.

Mr Hopkins, who works for Mercers Solicitors in New Street, decided to take up running after a health check soon after his 50th birthday in 2013 and was raising money for Sue Ryder.

He said: “My funniest moments of the race were finding myself sandwiched between two rhinos at mile seven and then being overtaken by a lady on stilts near the finish — she had huge strides and was surprisingly quick!

“All us runners know that however hard it was for us, it is like nothing compared to what people and their families have to go through when they are ill and dying, so I am hugely grateful to the generous supporters who have helped me raise £2,600.”

Jenny Brown, of St Anne’s Close, Henley, ran the marathon for the fourth time and finished in four hours and four minutes.

Miss Brown, 42, who runs her own cat feeding business, was raising money for the Mental Health Foundation and Thames Valley Animal Welfare.

Her father Rodney suffered from mental health problems and she has also received counselling.

Miss Brown, who was supported by friends and family on the day, said: “It’s the toughest marathon I’ve done out of all four.

“The sun and heat were relentless but it was an incredible day. The support was amazing and that makes it all worthwhile.

“I saw so many people collapsing on the side of the road so you needed to be sensible and say ‘I want to finish’.

“At the moment the word ‘running’ fills me with fear but I’m sure that will pass!”

Mother and daughter Carrie and Sophie Hoskins, of Watermans Road, Henley, finished the marathon in three hours and 10 minutes and four hours and five minutes respectively.

Mrs Hoskins, 50, a credit controller, was taking part in her ninth marathon, while teacher Sophie, 23, was running for the first time. The pair both compete for Reading Roadrunners.

Mrs Hoskins said: “It was the toughest one I’ve done in a long time — I couldn’t get over the heat. I’ve never felt heat like it.

“I was the 108th woman so I’m really happy with that. Sophie also did really well as it was incredibly tough for her first marathon.”

The pair will be running in the Stratford Triathlon this weekend and are also training for the Abingdon Marathon in October.

Steph Maxwell, who runs Henley dance company Steph’s Divas & Dudes, finished in five hours and two minutes.

She decided to run the marathon after turning 40 in January and was raising money for the British Lung Foundation as her father Charles Kent died in 2016 after suffering from a lung condition.

Mrs Maxwell, of Newtown Gardens, Henley, said: “It was so hot and I ran or jogged the whole way without stopping which I’m so proud of as so many people were walking. The heat was just too much for some.

“It was such an incredible experience and one which I shall never forget. The crowds shouting my name was just amazing and really did spur me on when I felt that my legs were not going to work anymore at mile 24.

“I managed to see my husband, daughters and mum twice on the route. It was so lovely to have a quick hug and then carry on.

“Currently I have raised £2,444. I’m overwhelmed to have raised such a massive amount and I’m so grateful to everyone that has sponsored me.

“I’m not sure I shall ever do it again but to have raised much-needed funds and awareness for the foundation in memory of my dad will hopefully inspire others and will certainly go down as one of my proudest achievements in my 40 years.”

Barrie Jackson, 48, from Goring, was part of a seven-strong team raising money for child bereavement charity Daisy’s Dream.

Mr Jackson, who works at Lloyds Bank’s head office in London, crossed the line in four hours and eight minutes. It was his 13th marathon and he also regularly runs half marathons, “iron man” triathlons and the Goring 10km race. Amanda Phillips-Wylds, who works for solicitors K J Smith, of Station Road, Henley, was also running in the Daisy’s Dream team and finished in four hours and 10 minutes.

The 35-year-old, from Englefield Green, Surrey, said: “It was the toughest marathon I’ve run. The heat was quite something and it made it very hard work but the support of the crowd and staff along the course was amazing.

“The roars of the crowd were amazing and when I crossed the finish line it was really emotional. The Daisy’s Dream team looked after us really well.

“My time wasn’t what I was hoping for but I’ll take it in those conditions.”

To sponsor the runners, search for Barrie Jackson on Virgin Giving or Amanda Phillips-Wylds on Just-Giving or donate direct at www.daisys

Jez Allinson, an officer based at RAF Benson, ran the marathon for the third time dressed as a Star Wars stormtrooper, and finished in six hours and 27 minutes.

Sq Ldr Allinson, 42, became an internet hit in 2016 after a video of him training in the suit received more than two million views. He has since raised more than £18,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK and Spread a Smile, charities which grant the wishes of children and young people with life-threatening illnesses.

To sponsor him, visit

Lukas Haitzmann, a student at the Oratory School in Woodcote, ran the marathon with three members of staff.

Lukas, who turned 18 just two days before the event, celebrated by finishing in three hours and 56 minutes.

He was joined by teachers Phil Poynter and Sarah Kenyon, and Kate Warren, who works in the school office. They finished in three hours and 13 minutes, five hours and eight minutes and four hours and 36 minutes respectively.

The team raised nearly £5,000 for charities Toybox, Child Rescue Nepal, WaterAid and Launchpad Reading.

Katie Fanstone completed the marathon for the second time and recorded a time of three hours and 49 minutes.

Mrs Fanstone, 41, who works in accounts at Chiltern House business centre in Henley, had hoped to beat three and a half hours this time but was hampered by the heat.

Henley estate agent James Butler finished in five hours and 29 minutes.

Mr Butler, 45, who works at Hamptons International in Hart Street, was raising money for a trust fund set up for 16-year-old Natasha Hole-Jones, whose father Nick died on New Year’s Eve after battling bowel cancer.

He said the heat made it difficult to run as fast as he wanted to.

Mr Butler said: “They say it was 30 degrees-plus on the roadside. The only way I was going to get round was a combination of running and walking while soaking up the atmosphere, which was stunning.

“Good on the British public, I’ve never experienced anything like that extraordinary goodwill.

“There were parts that were murderous but it was an incredible experience. Would I do it again? Maybe when I’ve recovered!”

To sponsor Mr Butler, visit

Henley pre-school teacher Vicky Price crossed the line in four hours and 27 minutes, three years after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Miss Price, 36, of South Avenue, Henley, has undergone two such operations and decided to run the marathon to raise money for the Brain Tumour Charity.

She said: “I really enjoyed it. I thought it was really well organised. I had a lot of support and it was an enjoyable experience. It was a bit of a struggle and at about 23 miles I thought ‘how am I going to make the last three?’

“It was quite emotional when I crossed the line. I was so happy to have finished and for the experience.”

Miss Price wil be taking part in the Tough Mudder endurance obstacle challenge at the Culden Faw estate, near Hambleden, this weekend.

To sponsor her, visit

Former rower Francis Highton, of Upton Close, Henley, took part in the marathon for the second year running and finished in three hours and 14 seconds, beating his time of last year by seven minutes.

He was running for Children With Cancer UK on behalf of ED&F Man Group in London.

Jenny Massarella, assistant manager at Davis Tate estate agents in Bell Street, Henley, ran the marathon in five hours and 23 minutes.

She was raising money for Sue Ryder’s Nettlebed hospice, where her mother Sue was cared for before her death in 2016.

Mrs Massarella, 27, from Shurlock Row, near Wokingham, had taken in half marathons but this was her first full marathon.

To sponsor her, visit

Dean Bigley, manager of the Bull on Bell Street, Henley, finished in six hours and 22 minutes.

Mr Bigley, from High Wycombe, decided to take part as he wanted to run a marathon before his 30th birthday next month. He was raising money for Marie Curie. To sponsor him, visit www.justgiving.

Emma Cutler, a nanny from Henley, came home in four hours and 31 minutes.

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