Triple Badminton winner, cross-country course-designer and grandfather, Ian Stark, ticked another box on his sporting CV when he completed last weekend’s London Marathon in 4hr52 min, knocking 11min off the time he clocked 10 years ago.
“I had hoped for a slightly faster time, but I got rather carried along with the crowd,” the 59-year-old told H&H.
“The atmosphere in London was incredible and the charity I was running for, Sparks, provided me with a massage at the end — and I’ve had another one since — so I’m feeling pretty good, actually.”
Ian has so far raised £2,150 for the charity.
Among the finishers were many stalwarts of the equestrian world and those fundraising for equine causes, but the performance of the day has to go to former H&H racing blogger National Hunt trainer Tom Symonds. Tom recorded a sensational time of 2hr38min, which left him in 138th place overall.
“I used to be a county runner and have always run to keep fit and take time out from the horses,” he said. “I wanted to beat the crush and I was aiming for a sub-2hr45min time, but I surprised even myself with my time.”
Tom has so far raised more than £3,000 for Prince Harry’s African charity, Sentebale.
Swedish event rider Anna Hilton completed the race in 4hr 20min, while showing judge Sarah Gwilliam finished in 4hr5min.