MP Alistair Burt completes his ninth London Marathon

NORTH East Bedford-shire MP Alistair Burt completed his ninth London Marathon and shaved off more than half an hour from his time of a year ago. He crossed the finishing line in 4hrs 39mins and claims he enjoyed every minute. Last year s marathon was too

NORTH East Bedford-shire MP Alistair Burt completed his ninth London Marathon and shaved off more than half an hour from his time of a year ago.

He crossed the finishing line in 4hrs 39mins and claims he enjoyed every minute.

"Last year's marathon was too hot. Even though people were running through hail and storms this year the overall temperature made it easier for runners," said Mr Burt, 52, a member of Biggleswade Athletic Club.

"I was very pleased to get round in my time and I have made a good start on my campaign to raise £10,000 for the hospice at Moggerhanger.

"I should be able to clear over £4,000 for this particular run and I will be running for the hospice again in order to meet my target."

But despite the rain it was sunshine all the way for Biggleswade AC's runners.

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Evergreen Ian Skerratt ran a magnificent race to be not only the club's first finisher but also its oldest. Such was the quality of the performance that his time of three hours six minutes placed him in the top 20 in his age group.

The club's next finisher was running his very first marathon. Rob Morgan finished just behind Ian in an excellent debut time of 3:07:50.

Next home was new recruit Michael Adams in a personal best time of 3:21:58. Not far behind was club marketing manager Gavin Elliott in 3:41.

Gamlingay's Ray Dowse suffered from a bad start but managed to finish in a personal best time of 3:53.

Another marathon debutant Kirsty Heath finished in 4:44 and was followed by Elaine Stead of Potton. Having helped her friend Sharyn Bray through the first 18 miles, determination to break five hours overcame loyalty and Elaine pushed on to finish her first marathon in 4:53. For iron lady Sharyn, this was the first marathon that she had done that had not included a two-mile swim and 114-mile bike ride. Despite her obvious stamina, she had struggled on this occasion and finished in 5:13.

Last finisher for the club was Wrestlingworth's David Lindsay in 5:35.

Biggleswade resident Chris Woolfende crossed the finishing line in 5:05 raising money for Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Helen Dodd, events manager at Leonard Cheshire Disability, said: "We are very proud of Chris who helped us raise over £100,000. This is a fantastic achievement and it couldn't have been done without his support.

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