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Trio tackle cramps, fatigue, and postponements to complete fundraising marathons

October saw three of our dedicated supporters raise £1,500 by taking on the challenge of running a marathon.

Keith McDevitt from Banknock and Ruth Wright from West Wickham ran the 26.2 miles on routes they created themselves around their local streets as part of the Virtual London Marathon (VLM), while Emma Clift took part in the Manchester Marathon.

Ruth, who is also a rehoming volunteer for the BHWT, completed the challenge by doing loops of Croydon and Bromley in 5 hours 33 minutes and raised almost £570.

She said:

“It was a real challenge but I’m so glad I did it. I had run about 20 miles maximum a few weeks before as my longest training run, but this time my legs began cramping at mile 13 and just got worse from then onwards which made for an interesting finish! It’s something I would definitely do again especially if I can get into the actual London event.”

Keith was joined on his run by a team from Jog Scotland Denny, a running group that he leads and who have given him the nickname ‘The Jogfather’.

This was Keith’s third time running 26.2 miles, and he made sure to plan a reasonably flat route based around the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Keith, whose wife Varrie is a volunteer with the Denny rehoming team, said:

It was the first marathon for two of the runners, and to be fair they had put the training in, unlike the rest of us who had previously bagged a marathon or two and thought we knew better.

We set off at 7 am and stayed as a team for the first half which everyone seemed reasonably comfortable with. The second half is where the benefits of sticking to a marathon training plan paid dividends.

keith mcdevitt

At 30k, the legs were beginning to feel the distance and with 5k to go, I was definitely feeling fatigued despite the water and jelly babies.

Knowing the last 5k was going to be difficult I had deliberately set the finish line at a local pub and the draw of a cool pint as a reward for crossing the line was just enough incentive to struggle on through that last couple of miles of physical and mental torture.

We all made it to the finish line for the back of 12 to complete our VLM and dragged ourselves into the pub for a most welcome cool drink and some lunch, just in time for the heavens to open up.”

For Emma, her first time taking part in a marathon was a long time coming thanks to the pandemic, but she made sure to do it in style.

emma clift

Emma says:

“Two years after signing up, I finally got to Manchester Marathon (postponed twice before due to Covid-19) and raised nearly £500 which hopefully the charity can put to a good cause as always.

I made it across the finish line in 4 hours and 5 minutes, with Henny Penny the balloon chicken, and had lots of cheers and comments about her as I finished the marathon.”

If you would like to get involved with the BHWT, check out our page on how to fundraise, whether that’s running your own marathon or baking cakes!

Read the original running adventures with Ruth Wright and Keith McDevitt here.

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