Fundraising manager Fiona Heath reports back on a brilliant day for our runners in the London Marathon and their families and supporters who came along to cheer them on.

Bright spirits
The skies may have been grey and leaden but our runners’ spirits were bright, up early ready for the challenge of their life after months of training, cold mornings and dark nights pounding the pavements in anticipation of the day.

The 13 CHECT runners set out with personal goals, hopes, and more than a little bit of nervousness too.

Party atmosphere
The route was lined with thousands of spectators, and CHECT was lucky enough to have volunteers Frances, Miriam, Jackie, Alan and Darren joined our cheering squad made up from staff and runners’ families and friends. The squad gave their vocal cords a marathon workout of their own and a much-needed boost to the runners when they passed by at the 20-mile mark.

Emotions ran high throughout the day – everyone was overwhelmed by the support along the way, the camaraderie with other runners and the excitement of spotting another CHECT runner or a famous face amongst the thousands taking part. Bands played along the route and the array of colourful and bizarre costumes along the way added to the party atmosphere on the day.

All CHECT runners were met at the end by our welcoming party at the Inn in the Park in St James Park – many thanks to the management of the café who very kindly set aside tables on their decking for CHECT staff and families.

It’s not too late to give
The marathon may be over but your chance to support our runners is still open- you can read their motivational stories and donate via their just giving pages (links found here).

Annie Gass from Wunderman, the international digital marketing agency, and her partner Keith Drewery joined the team after being inspired by the work of CHECT through our partnership with them. [su_highlight background=”#99c2ff”]Race times: Annie 4hrs 21 & Keith 4hrs 56[/su_highlight]

Patron of CHECT, Darren Harris persuaded Pardeep Bagdi from his running club to run for CHECT and Pard inspired by Darren, readily agreed. [su_highlight background=”#99c2ff”]Race time: Pardeep 3hr 45[/su_highlight]

As well as running her own PR Agency Jo Carr, like many runners, juggled training and home life and still found time to raise awareness in her local paper. [su_highlight background=”#99c2ff”]Race time: Jo 3hr 51[/su_highlight]

Sometimes it’s easier to train with a running partner. James Morely-Smith, having run the marathon before for CHECT decided to run again this year, after receiving continued support since his son was diagnosed with Rb 7 years ago. He persuaded Yvette Rogers to join him and despite getting injured during training, she found running with a buddy so much easier than on her own.[su_highlight background=”#99c2ff”]Race times: James 3hrs 56 & Yvette 4hrs 3[/su_highlight]

It was early January when Tom Haynes was persuaded to take the place of an injured runner through a friend on facebook. [su_highlight background=”#99c2ff”]Race time: Tom 4hrs 22[/su_highlight]

Mick Magdeburg, only started running in his sixties, which just goes to show that it is never too late to take part. [su_highlight background=”#99c2ff”]Race time: Mick 4hr 32[/su_highlight]

It is always worth while applying for a ballot place and Katie Nightingale and was lucky enough to receive one and decided to run for CHECT. [su_highlight background=”#99c2ff”]Race time: Katie 5hrs 17[/su_highlight]

Margaret Sinclair was featured as one of the BBC’s inspirational marathon runners (read full story here) and this was picked up by many news agencies across the country, raising great awareness of retinoblastoma too. [su_highlight background=”#99c2ff”]Race time: Margaret 5hrs 25[/su_highlight]

Nicola Atkins entered the 2012 marathon for CHECT only to be hit on the head by a water bottle, meaning she had to walk to finish. She was pleased to be able to get the opportunity this year to run the route alongside her sister Alex Atkins . Both girls were overwhelmed by the generosity of their friends and family.[su_highlight background=”#99c2ff”]Race times: Nicola 5rs 12 & Alex 6hrs 44[/su_highlight]

The emotion of the day and amazing support of the spectators was really felt by Debbie Marshall who reckoned she’d cried the whole route. [su_highlight background=”#99c2ff”]Race time: Debbie 3hrs 46[/su_highlight]

This year’s runners have raised more than £25,000 to date and we are hoping this could rise to £30,000 once all donations are in. Thank you once again to all our marvellous marathon runners and their families for supporting them.

CHECT has 11 places in next year’s Virgin London Marathon. We ask all interested runners to first put in for a ballot place. The website for the ballot places for 2016 marathon opens on Bank Holiday Monday. You need to be quick to register for a place, you can do so here. For further information on a Team CHECT marathon place email fiona.heath@chect.org.uk

Were you at the London Marathon this weekend? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the day, please do so in the comment box below…

You can view all of our marathon photographs on Flickr here.

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