London Marathon 2017: Why Hitchin runners will be pounding the streets of the capital tomorrow

Laurence Cowley, pictured with personal trainer Lisa Austin, is running the London Marathon for the

Laurence Cowley, pictured with personal trainer Lisa Austin, is running the London Marathon for the NSPCC. - Credit: Archant

Thousands of runners will be pounding the streets of the capital tomorrow for the 37th London Marathon – here we shine the spotlight on a few from the Hitchin area.

• Rachel Morrison-Ellis will be on the start line having suffered her fourth miscarriage – and is determined to make something ‘good and worthwhile’ from the heartache she and her partner have suffered.

The Hitchin woman is raising money for the Miscarriage Association and said: “A miscarriage is one of the loneliest forms of grief.

“I don’t know what the future holds but I do know I had to have another focus. I am going to put 110 per cent into this marathon and raise as much money as I possibly can for the Miscarriage Association.”

To donate visit virginmoneygiving.com/RachelMorrisonEllis1.


You may also want to watch:


• Sunday will see Hitchin headteacher Steve Mills tick the gruelling challenge off a bucket list of things to do before he hits the big 5-0.

Rachel Morrison-Ellis is running the London Marathon for the Miscarriage Association.

Rachel Morrison-Ellis is running the London Marathon for the Miscarriage Association. - Credit: Archant

The head at Whitehill Junior School has decided to run the 26.2 miles to raise money for two separate charities – Dementia UK and Keech Hospice Care.

Most Read

He said: “Age never really bothers me but as I approach 50 – I’m 47 – I thought about a few things it’d be good to achieve or attempt. Included on my list were jumping out of an aeroplane – preferably with a parachute – running a marathon, appearing in a West End Musical, and seeing Manchester City win the Champions League.

“If you’ve heard me sing or seen me dance – you’d realise there’s no way on earth I’d get close to a West End stage. As for my beloved football club, only time will tell.

“I’m very happy to support Dementia UK and Keech Hospice Care. I’ve no idea how long it will take me to get round – as long as I do, that’s all that matters.

To donate to Steve’s cause, see virginmoneygiving.com/millsyblue.

Hitchin teacher Steve Mills will be fulfilling one of his dreams on Sunday - he now just needs Manch

Hitchin teacher Steve Mills will be fulfilling one of his dreams on Sunday - he now just needs Manchester City to win the Champions League! - Credit: Archant

• Retired businessman Laurence Cowley is running for the NSPCC – despite being treated for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia as he approached the age of 65.

The 70-year-old from Great Offley will run for the UK’s leading child protection charity – despite admitting he’d never even run for a bus before he started training.

Laurence trains five days a week with the help of running partner and personal trainer Lisa Austin, who owns Rock Health in the village near Hitchin.

He said: “All my friends of a similar age, are relatively fit and are saying ‘you can’t do it, you’re too old’ – it’s the sort of thing that makes me more determined to finish.

“Lisa and I have already walked and jogged 22 miles in training. If we can do 22 miles, then 26 miles is a piece of cake!

Laurence Cowley is taking on the London Marathon in April.

Laurence Cowley is taking on the London Marathon in April. - Credit: Archant

“The NSPCC is a great cause my wife Tricia and I have supported for many years. Their work goes a very long way in keeping children safe from abuse.”

To sponsor Laurence visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Laurence-Cowley2.

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