London Marathon completed - in wet Staple Hill!
William and Catalina (front) put their best foot forward
Runners Sandra Drakett and Sally Bartram pictured at Page Park
A HUSBAND and wife were among the runners braving torrential rain to compete in the virtual London Marathon.
William and Catalina Lee were part of an 15-strong team pounding across local terrain to raise thousands for Staple Hill Community Hub.
The London Marathon had been due to take place on April 26 but was cancelled because of the global pandemic.
It had been rearranged for October 4 but due to ongoing restrictions, thousands of competitors ended up running the 26.2 miles virtually on a course of their choice.
The team, which was bolstered by a further three people running for other causes, completed a 5.2 mile circuit, five times, which enabled them to visit a food and drink station at the end of each loop.
The route took the runners through Page Park, along the cycle path passing Mangotsfield Station, Shortwood and Lyde Green, before returning along another cycle path through Emersons Green and Mangotsfield.
Nearly all of the team are members of the Staple Hill Runners, a running group that provides free weekly sessions in Staple Hill.
The team are hoping to reach £4,000 which will be spent on supporting services offered by Staple Hill Community Hub including a lunch club, an older people's exercise club and emergency food parcels.
William, 62, a retired actuary, said: “Only a few had done a marathon before and one hadn't even done a half marathon. There were lots of very smiley people when they found that they actually managed to take on such a huge challenge and complete it.
“We saw quite a few other runners out doing the virtual London marathon so it was great to get lots of support with people cheering each other on as they ran past each other.”
William, who completed the trek in 6 hours 54 minutes, added: “The opportunity to take part virtually only came up about six weeks ago but normally you would train for about six months for a marathon! We did a bit of a crash course and did what we could to give us the best chance of completing it on the day.”
Catalina, 59, said: “The weather was dreadful but I'm so glad I finished it.I had great running companions and we all supported one another. Previously I'd done a couple of 10ks and one half marathon two years ago, so it was a major achievement!”
The full list of runners are Andy Cambers, Barbara Sullivan, Catalina Lee, Deb Williams, Holly McMurray, James Baker, Jan Halton, Lesley Barry, Maddy Ashton, Maggie Cook, Nic Dutton, Phil Cossey, Sally Bartram, Sandra Drakett, Sue Upfield, William Lee and Yvonne Logan.
Dillan Lee, William and Catalina's daughter, completed one lap but had to pull out due to an existing injury.
To donate to the fundraiser for the hub online, visit bit.ly/37mavbqstaplehilldoesthelondonmarathon