London Marathon 2015: Guinness World Record ‘failure’ doesn’t dampen spirits of Letchworth, Baldock and Stotfold runners

Richard Kell.

Richard Kell. - Credit: Archant

A Letchworth man isn’t beating him up too much about not bagging a Guinness World Record, with many other runners from the area having plenty to be proud of too.

Richard Williams

Richard Williams - Credit: Archant

• Richard Kell came tantalisingly close to delivering a knockout blow in his 96th marathon.

The 44-year-old from Letchworth knocked more than eight minutes off the existing Guinness World Record time for running the race as a boxer, but unfortunately two other glove-wearing runners managed even faster times.

Richard said: “My challenge faded badly in the second half of the race, and my time of 3.27.06 was never going to be good enough.

“Indeed there were more boxers on the day than in a Calvin Klein factory.

Paula Holm offers a wave and a smile as she makes her way round.

Paula Holm offers a wave and a smile as she makes her way round. - Credit: Archant


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“Still, I am officially the third fastest boxer on the planet ever to run a marathon! Quite an achievement, I think you’ll agree.

“I will find an alternative race, and another record to break before the year is out.”

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Richard raised £644 for Get Kids Going! – a charity which provides sports wheelchairs and grants for disabled children and young people.

• A man running in honour of his grandfather, who died from dementia in 2013, was delighted to have finished the race in just over four hours.

Richard Williams’ grandfather George Williams loved running and boxing as a young man, so in tribute, Richard, 36, from Prince Edward Way in Stotfold, decided to raise money for the national disability charity United Response.

Richard, who finished in 4:01:57, said: “I was thrilled to finish the race in just over four hours, and while it was tough it was a great day.

“It was wonderful to be cheered on by the United Response team and all the others in the crowd.

“It’s good to know the money raised will go to such a worthwhile cause which does so much for people around the country.”

• A mother-of-three raised almost £5,000 for a charity which saved her son’s life after he was found drowned at the bottom of her garden pond.

Despite injuring herself in the weeks leading up to the race, Paula Holm managed to bag a marathon time of 3.44. 34 running for Great Ormond Street Hospital – four years after her 19-month-old son, Jonah, was in a coma in intensive care for three days.

At the time scans showed a significant amount of brain damage, but five-year-old Jonah made a complete recovery and was there to cheer on mum on the day. Paula, who lives in Baldock, said: “When I crossed the line I sobbed like a baby, needing to be comforted by lovely marshals – I just could not believe I had actually done it.

“I can’t walk, I have some super sized blisters but right now I am positively beaming! Now to get the champagne from the freezer!”

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