Two jubilant athletes from Garstang said a big thank you this week to all their supporters - those who rallied them to the finish line during Sunday’s gruelling London marathon and those who dug deep to sponsor them.
Retired teachers Mary Hewitt and Frank Miller are back home celebrating their success in completing the marathon and boosting their chosen charity funds.
Both local runners were fortunate to have their names pulled out of the hat at Garstang Running Club to gain a coveted place in the marathon.
Frank got to the finishing line in four hours eight minutes and 50 seconds.
Mary was past the finishing post in four hours 34 minutes, just four minutes over her target of four hours for the 26.2 mile race.
She said: “I was really pleased. It was perfect running weather It was my first time in the London marathon and it was absolutely amazing. You get the crowds shouting your name as you run past - it’s immense, quite emotional really. I never imagined it would be quite like that. The crowd actually keep you going.”
She revealed her fastest mile was mile 25 -a triumph she attributes to crowd support and seeing Buckingham Palace.
Other memorable moments of the run were circling round the Cutty Sark vessel and coming over a crowd lined Tower Bridge. To add to her delight Mary raised more than £1,000 for The Rainbow Trust.
Frank meanwhile raised some £1400 for Riders for Health. He said: “I was hoping to get just under four hours but I had quite a bit of cramp at about mile 20. I actually had to stop -I was very lucky to be just before a first aid station. I had a bit of a massage and was fine after that for another two/three miles.”
But the cramp returned, inevitably slowing him down:”I didn’t stop altogether ..I got round. There was loads of encouragement”
Frank knew wife Anne was in the crowd and was also spurred on thinking about the £50 per mile he was raising for his charity.
If you would like to donate see http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/FrankMiller and http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MaryHewitt