THE ‘fabulous five’ runners raised a fantastic £10,000 for Primrose Hospice after completing the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, April 28.
Fundraising for the hospice were sisters Sam Webster and Kate Low, Sara Phillips, Hayley Young and Bridget Haw all completed Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon.
They have raised over £10,000 for the charity which needs to raise £1.75million to keep the charity’s services free for people with life limiting conditions and their families.
Bridget Haw led the quintet home in a time of 5 hours 14 minutes, closely followed by Sara Phillips in 5 hours 20, while Hayley Young clocked 5 hours 38.
Sisters Sam Webster and Kate Low crossed the line holding hands in 6 hours 18 mins.
Hayley Young, from Matchborough East, ran in memory of her father and sister and in aid of Primrose Hospice who supported her sister and Hayley’s family.
“It was incredible. After the race itself I thought ‘I’m never doing this again. It was really hard, probably one of the toughest things I’ve done but when I saw the finish line, I felt brilliant.”
“I started training last June and July. This time last year, I was doing three miles but had pushed myself to six miles. Then I started 10k, half marathon and marathon training. I’m going to keep it up to half marathon training. I never thought I would do it and wondered how people managed to make it across the finish line but it is possible if you put in the hard training and time. If you’d asked me on Sunday I would have said I’d never do it again but the more I’m thinking about it never say never.”
Hayley’s husband and his friends travelled to London while Hayley’s mum and two children watched from home.
“Quite a few people were texting me while they were watching to say they has seen me on television. The level of support has been fantastic and the support from the crowds in London was incredible too, they really helped keep me motivated.
“I couldn’t have done this without my friends and family, they have been fantastic.
“I did memory miles so I could run each mile in memory of someone’s loved one in return for a donation. I would message that person just as I started running that mile to say I was doing it for their loved one. However, I left miles 25 and 26 free so I could run those in memory of my dad and sister.”
Bridget Haw, from Bromsgrove, said: ““I was really excited, it was an amazing experience. The crowds were incredible and my two daughters and good friend were there supporting me.
“Having them there was amazing support. Hearing all the spectators cheering your name and encouraging you really spurred me on.
“It was my first marathon, although I have done half marathons before. It was a massive challenge and is probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever done. I’m really proud of myself.
“I decided to do the London Marathon to raise money for Primrose Hospice because I’ve collected for the charity in the past. As a child, I lost my dad and the work Primrose does with children and families is so important, they didn’t have anything like that around when my dad died.”
Sara Phillips, from Astwood Bank, who was trained by Pete Gallimore who ran for Primrose last year, said it was a once in a lifetime moment.
“After being nervous for a long time it’s just great being out there and soaking up the atmosphere. I ran the first few miles with Hayley. It was just great and I was just trying to soak it all up and thinking I just have to get around. Hearing strangers calling your name saying ‘Come on you can do it’ it was amazing.
“I’d previously only done a half marathon but I’ve never done a marathon so it was a massive achievement for me. Training has been hard because there’s no let up from it and you’ve just got to get out there. There have been times when I thought ‘Oh my gosh I’ve got to run today, I’ve got to get those miles in’ that’s been hard but looking back it’s worth it and it’s not worth worrying about.”
“I had some memory miles which was great and someone said to me just to think that I can do it because lots of people can’t. That’s what I kept in mind when I wasn’t being distracted by the crowds and I needed to push myself. I kept telling myself that I don’t need to break records and that I’m doing it because lots of people can’t.
“I’ve raised money for Primrose as chair of PA at Bromsgrove Prep School and I’ve been around the hospice and looked at the work everyone does and I think it’s an amazing charity. Primrose is just there to help people when they need them most. Not just people who have life-limiting conditions but also bereavement too. I just think that for a small, local charity they do so many things and need all the help they can get.”
Kate Low, from Solihull, ran with her sister Sam Webster and the pair crossed the finish line holding hands in 6 hours and 18 minutes.
“It was a really amazing experience – not one I think I want to repeat but I’m glad to have done it!
“I was a social runner before and had done half marathons but had never run a marathon. What I found so incredible was how amazing and generous people have been in sponsoring us. We realised how much support we had that as we were running we kept thinking we can’t stop because of the people who sponsored us. We are so grateful and just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
“The crowds are just unbelievable and even when I was in floods of tears because I was in so much pain because we had our vests with our names on they were calling out encouragement.
“There were many times I wanted to give up but the crowds gave me the motivation and encouragement to get me around.
“Six weeks out Sam was injured and she did amazingly well, even the fact she did it was incredible. Doing the marathon with her thought was the best part of the experience.”
Anna Wilson, Primrose Hospice community fundraiser, said: ” We are so proud of them all.
“Each one of them has personal reasons as to why the charity means so much to them.
“They endured months of grueling training while fundraising for us.”
To support the runners with a donation visit justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/primrosehospice/londonmarathon2019.