London Marathon 2019: How our Stevenage and North Herts runners got on

PUBLISHED: 13:57 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:57 01 May 2019

Hitchin's Dave Wardle running the London Marathon in his rhino costume. Picture: Laura Dunn

Hitchin's Dave Wardle running the London Marathon in his rhino costume. Picture: Laura Dunn

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With more than 40,000 runners taking on the London Marathon on Sunday, we checked in with some from Stevenage, North Herts and Central Bedfordshire to see how they got on.

Kerry Kitchener from Letchworth completed the race in 3h 49m 36s. Picture: Courtesy of Kerry KitchenerKerry Kitchener from Letchworth completed the race in 3h 49m 36s. Picture: Courtesy of Kerry Kitchener

Letchworth's Kerry Kitchener completed the London Marathon in 3h 49m 36s on Sunday in aid of Children with Cancer UK.

The Weston Primary School teaching assistant has been raising money for the charity which funds research into childhood cancer with the aim of improving survival rates and helping families after diagnosis.

She told the Comet: “I had a brilliant day. There was so much support on the course, people were amazing.

“I finished in 3 hours 49 minutes, which I was pleased with, as at times it was so congested on the course due to the sheer volume of runners it was hard to keep to your running pace.

Charlotte Kearney  ran in 4:51:03. Photo: Courtesy of Charlotte KearneyCharlotte Kearney ran in 4:51:03. Photo: Courtesy of Charlotte Kearney

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported and sponsored me – it is much appreciated for this great cause.”

Kerry has raised £270 as far, and her fundraising page is still open.

To support her, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/kerrykitchener.

Charlotte Kearney, from Stevenage, ran the marathon in aid of the charity close to her heart – Meningitis Research Foundation.

71-year-old Andrew Porter completed the London Marathon on Sunday in aid of Children with Cancer UK. Picture: Courtesy of Andrew Porter71-year-old Andrew Porter completed the London Marathon on Sunday in aid of Children with Cancer UK. Picture: Courtesy of Andrew Porter

“It was just such an amazing atmosphere and knowing that I'm doing this raising lots of money for a charity that's close to my heart. It really helped me along the way,” she said.

Bill, Charlotte's dad, nearly died in February 2017 when he contracted sepsis and meningitis.

In total she has raised more than £2,500 for the foundation, which is 25 per cent more than her target.

Charlotte completed the marathon in 4h 51m 03s.

Hitchin's Dave Wardle running the London Marathon in his rhino costume. Picture: Laura DunnHitchin's Dave Wardle running the London Marathon in his rhino costume. Picture: Laura Dunn

“I was so nervous at the start and the last couple of days leading up to the race but as soon as I started with the amazing crowds and support all of my worries soon left me,” she said.

“I am just absolutely shocked with my time. I can't wait to hopefully do this again next year.”

To back Charlotte's cause, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CharKearneyLM2019.

Stotfold's Andrew Porter, who had been applying for a marathon place for 10 years, completed the London Marathon in 4h 49m 54s on Sunday.

Sara Walker ran part of the race with former Top Gear presenter Chris Evans. Picture: Sara WalkerSara Walker ran part of the race with former Top Gear presenter Chris Evans. Picture: Sara Walker

The 71-year-old completed the challenge to raise money for Children with Cancer UK.

Andrew told the Comet: “The London Marathon was an amazing day. The atmosphere, the encouragement from the crowds, all helped to keep me going and achieve a finishing time of 4 hours and 49 minutes.

“I am grateful for all the support and sponsorship from the North Herts Road Runners and the generosity of everyone who helped me raise more than £2,000 for the charity Children with Cancer UK.”

Children with Cancer UK provides research into childhood cancer, with the aim of boosting survival rates and providing support to families after diagnosis. To sponsor Andrew, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndrewPorter20.

Anne Lovatt with her London Marathon medal. Picture: Valerie KetcherAnne Lovatt with her London Marathon medal. Picture: Valerie Ketcher

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Hitchin Hares runner Dave Wardle finished Sunday's race in 5h 00m 19s, despite wearing a rhino suit.

Dave admitted that suit – which he wore to raise funds for Save The Rhino International – hindered his running, but was quick to praise the support of the crowd lining the 26.2-mile route.

“The race went well, but I underestimated the suit ever so slightly,” he said.

Anne Lovatt during the London Marathon. Picture: Hannah SmithAnne Lovatt during the London Marathon. Picture: Hannah Smith

“The suit was hot, heavy and cumbersome to say the least, and a bit like running in a crisp packet.

“But crowd were amazing with cheers of 'Rhino Dave'.

“I had my wife and mate Jake catch me up and help me with hydration and support.

“Save the Rhino is an amazing cause and the rhino suits are a crowd pleaser.

“Thank you for all the support on the course and social media.”

To make a donation visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DaveWardle1.

Langford's Sara Walker crossed the line in 4h 14m 13s, raising more than £3,000 for Dementia Revolution after her mum was diagnosed with the disease.

Despite suffering an injury just six weeks before the race, Sara – who also ran alongside former Top Gear presenter Chris Evans for part of the race – posted an impressive time and enjoyed running the 26.2-mile course.

“I had been saying before that this wasn't about pace due to injury, but it wasn't until I dropped back a wave to run with another injured Dementia Revolution runner that I really did change my mindset, and from that moment on I just enjoyed it.

“My sister and my daughter were there and I saw them three times, which was amazing.

“I stopped to give them a hug at 25 miles and from there on I got goose bumps.

“It was emotional, it was painful, it was exhilarating, it was the best experience ever.”

To donate, see justgiving.com/sara-walkerlondon.

Stevenage's Anne Lovatt, 39, ran the London Marathon in a time of 4h 39m 01s, raising £2,332 for the Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of a childhood friend who lost her battle with cancer.

The Fairlands Valley Spartans member was quick to praise the support of those who lined the London streets to cheer on the runners, saying: “After running my first marathon in Manchester earlier this month, I completed my second marathon in three weeks, which I achieved in a new personal best time.

“From the start at Blackheath to the finish at Pall Mall the London crowds, marshals and volunteers were amazing and there is nothing more inspiring to hear the words of encouragement as you run round.

“I loved every minute and will never forget the experience.

“I wish to thank my family and friends for their lovely support and help along this double marathon experience.”

If you would like to sponsor Anne, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AnneLovatt.

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