London Marathon 2015: Stevenage runners share their stories

Brian White and his daughter Kerry, pictured after completing the London Duathlon in September last

Brian White and his daughter Kerry, pictured after completing the London Duathlon in September last year, are both running the London Marathon for the Alzheimer's Society. - Credit: Archant

Thousands of hardy souls will be pounding the streets of the capital on Sunday as the London Marathon is held for the 35th time – and here we share the stories of eight runners from Stevenage who will be among them.

Geoff Millman

Geoff Millman - Credit: Archant

• A father and daughter duo will be heading to the start line together for a cause close to their hearts.

Brian and Kerry White from Stevenage will be running for the Alzheimer’s Society after Kerry’s nan Edna Poore was diagnosed with the condition just over a year ago.

The route will be rather familiar for personal trainer Brian, who has completed the London course seven times including in a personal best time of 2h 39m 33s in 2001.

The 60-year-old – who runs for Hitchin-based running club Team Trisports – has been able to offer plenty of advice to his 29-year-old daughter Kerry ahead of the big day.

Comet and Royston Crow news editor Nick Gill, pictured running the Baldock Beast half marathon in Fe

Comet and Royston Crow news editor Nick Gill, pictured running the Baldock Beast half marathon in February, is running for St John Ambulance on Sunday. - Credit: Archant

“I’ve always wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps and really wanted to do this before I turned 30,” said Kerry.

“I will be so proud to be running alongside my dad for this amazing charity. Dementia touches so many families, and can be a very worrying and upsetting time for everyone involved. We hope to raise up to £3,000 in total forthe cause.”

Most Read

To make a donation visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/SupportKerry.

• Running in his 13th London Marathon, 61-year-old Geoff Millman is hoping to raise £1,600 for the Hertfordshire Community Foundation after they offered him a charity place.

Hilary Davies will run the London Marathon 2015 for Greenside School where she works as deputy headt

Hilary Davies will run the London Marathon 2015 for Greenside School where she works as deputy headteacher. - Credit: Archant

Geoff, of Benstede in Stevenage, is hoping to cross the finish line in under five hours, cheered on by his four children.

He said: “The London Marathon is a special one because of the atmosphere and the crowds. It’s always good to be a part of it and help raise money for charity as well.”

He added: “I might try and do one more to get off the 13 mark.”

The foundation assists people and companies wanting to make a donation to charity, by giving independent advice on charitable giving and grants, to make it as tax-efficient as possible.

Paul Marshall is taking to the streets of London to drum up funds for North Herts Samaritans.

Paul Marshall is taking to the streets of London to drum up funds for North Herts Samaritans. - Credit: Archant

To sponsor Geoff, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/GeoffreyMillman.

• Comet news editor Nick Gill will be among the thousands taking to the capital’s streets as he repays a debt to a charity which came to his aid in his hour of need.

The 26-year-old from Stevenage attempted the feat on a warm day in 2013 but collapsed before the 18-mile point from dehydration.

Two years on Nick is determined to cross the finish line while raising funds for St John Ambulance after volunteers from the first aid charity helped him recover.

Key Stage 4 and 5 teacher Perumal Naicker and deputy headteacher Matthew Roberts from Barnwell Schoo

Key Stage 4 and 5 teacher Perumal Naicker and deputy headteacher Matthew Roberts from Barnwell School will run the 2015 London Marathon on Sunday, - Credit: Archant

“Collapsing in 2013 was a scary experience and I’m just so thankful to everyone who looked after me,” said Nick, a former student at Marriotts School.

“After a year off I decided to give it another go to achieve my marathon goal but also to say thanks to a charity which saves lives on a daily basis.

“Rest assured, whatever the temperature on the day, I won’t be making the same mistake again as I’m desperate to get my hands on that medal.”

To make a donation and help support St John Ambulance visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/Nick_Gill.

• A deputy headteacher will run on Sunday to raise money for her special needs school’s new playground.

Hilary Davies, who has worked at Greenside School for 20 years, is hoping to raise £1,500 as she runs through the streets of London.

In total the Stevenage school needs £40,000 for the play equipment required.

Hilary, 49, said: “I just think if I can run 26 miles when they have a lifetime of disabilities... It is just something we can do together.

“I also turn 50 this year, and wanted to prove I could do it before then.”

Headteacher Dave Victor said the staff and pupils were all wishing her good luck.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/Hilary-Davies1.

• An experienced marathon runner is taking to the streets of London to raise money for North Herts Samaritans.

Paul Marshall – who is a member of Stevenage running club Fairlands Valley Spartans – competed in his 20th marathon in Paris earlier this month.

The 56-year-old – whose wife was a Samaritan at the Hitchin branch for eight years – said: “I always said that if I was fortunate enough to get into London again that this time I would run for Samaritans because of the great work they do.

“You don’t have to be suicidal to speak to them. They help you talk about your feelings and whatever is going on in your head, they won’t give advice, but will support you in the decisions you make.

“In today’s busy world you never know when you might need them, and they give their time for free.”

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/paul-marshall51.

• Two Stevenage maths teachers will be hoping they have the formula for success on Sunday.

Key Stage 4 and 5 teacher Perumal Naicker and deputy headteacher Matthew Roberts teach at Barnwell School and are running for The Brain Tumour Charity and SENSE, which supports deafblind people.

Both are keen runners and have admired those taking part in the marathon over the years.

Matt said: “My mother-in-law sadly died very young from a brain tumour and she is greatly missed by all of the family and by raising funds I hope to contribute to helping to find a cure for this terrible illness.”

Perumal said: “I am running for SENSE as I have children and know how lucky I am that they are fit and healthy.”

To donate to Matt visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/mattroberts.

And to help Perumal reach his target visit www.justgiving.com/Tammy-Naicker.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter