London Marathon 2015: Letchworth, Baldock and Bedfordshire runners all set for the 26.2-mile challenge

Richard Kell

Richard Kell - Credit: Archant

From Guinness World Record attempts to stories of battling against the odds, runners from Letchworth, Baldock and Bedfordshire will be lining up for tomorrow’s London Marathon with plenty in the way of motivation.

Paula Holm is competing in the London Marathon raise money for a charity which saved her son’s life.

Paula Holm is competing in the London Marathon raise money for a charity which saved her son’s life. - Credit: Archant

Here we delve into the stories behind four runners heading to the capital tomorrow.

• A Letchworth man is hoping to deliver a knockout blow by breaking the existing Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon time dressed as a boxer.

Despite having run almost 100 marathons, this will be Richard Kell’s first attempt in London, with the added pressure of beating the record which stands at 3h 35m 34s.

It is also the first race of his 2015 The Magnificent Seven challenge, where as well as the London Marathon, he will run five 100-mile races and also complete his 100th marathon.

Sarah Hollands from Shefford is running the marathon for St John Ambulance.

Sarah Hollands from Shefford is running the marathon for St John Ambulance. - Credit: Archant

The 44-year-old said: “Running dressed as a boxer may not sound too restrictive, but I can assure you it’s got its challenges.

“I’ve still got no idea how I’m going to manage to hold a drink wearing boxing gloves, and God help me if I need the loo!”

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Richard’s charity of choice is Get Kids Going! which provides sports wheelchairs and grants for disabled children and young people. To donate go to www.virginmoneygiving.com/midasmarathon.

• A mother-of-three is running to raise money for a charity which saved her son’s life after he was found drowned at the bottom of her garden pond.

Richard Williams.

Richard Williams. - Credit: Archant

Paula Holm will be pounding the streets of the capital to raise as much money as possible for Great Ormond Street Hospital – four years after her 19-month-old son, Jonah, was in a three-day coma at the London hospital’s intensive care unit.

Despite initial scans showing a significant amount of brain damage, five-year-old Jonah made a complete recovery, but Paula is determined to drum up funds.

The 36-year-old said: “People came to my fundraising quiz which was a sell out event raising over £1100 for Great Ormond Street!

“Frustratingly I injured myself three weeks ago and was on complete rest until Monday when I did a 10-minute jog – only six days before the big day!

“Previous to this I had been aiming for a time, now I am just aiming to finish and raise as much money as possible.”

To sponsor Paula visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/PaulaHolm.

• Youth worker Sarah Hollands is taking on her first marathon to raise funds for St John Ambulance.

The 28-year-old chose the first aid charity as it works closely with young people – something Sarah has plenty of experience of through her role as a personal advisor with Herts County Council-funded Youth Connexions.

Sarah – who lives in Shefford – has held a number of quizzes and cake sales to raise funds, including at her Farnham House office in Stevenage.

“St John help young people learn vital first aid skills so I wanted to support the cause after hearing first-hand about what they do from my friend Nicole Vaughan who works for the charity,” said Sarah.

To sponsor her visit www. virginmoneygiving.com/SarahHollands.

• Richard Williams’ grandfather George, who died from dementia in 2013, loved running and boxing as a young man. In tribute Richard, 36, from Prince Edward Way in Stotfold, is raising money for the national disability charity United Response.

He said: “I’m from a sporty family and hope with the help of friends and family I can raise money to help people like my late grandfather George.”

To donate to United Response visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/RichardWilliams1979.

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