Thousands of runners took to the streets of London last Sunday (25 April) for the Virgin London Marathon and a large number of them came from an equestrian background or were running for an equine cause.
Despite being stuck in Egypt due to the volcanic ash cloud, dressage rider Andrew Gould made it back in time to take part. He completed it in 5hr 20min.
Andrew clocked up an impressive time for the first half of the course, but during the 18th mile an old injury reoccurred and Andrew’s knee ruptured and gave way.
“Having already run most of the way I wasn’t about to give up so close to the end,” said Andrew.
“The St John’s Ambulance people strapped it up for me and I gritted my teeth, tried to put the pain out of my mind and just kept on running.”
Through a demonstration in March and the marathon Andrew has raised more than £3,000 for Spinal Research’s Saddle Up Campaign.
Fellow dressage rider Daniel Timson completed in 5hr 18min. He was also running for Spinal Research and raised just under £1,000.
H&H’s deputy picture editor Emma McCall completed in 4hr 24min. She has so far raised £1,200 for the Spinal Injuries Association.
She joined a team of 21, including representatives from the British Horseracing Authority, the British Racing School, Weatherbys, The Racing Post, the Professional Jockeys’ Association, Racing UK and various racecourses around the country, running for the charity.
The team’s target is £37,000 and they have currently raised more than £31,000.
Managing editor Karen Spinner got round in 7hr 33min, despite battling a sick bug. She has so far raised £1,600 for World Horse Welfare.
Managing partner of equine wholesalers Trilanco, Martin Balmer, completed in 4hr 50min and raised over £4000 for Get Kids Going, a charity that helps disabled children and young people up to the age of 26 get into sport.
“I was pleased to be able to run for such a good cause,” said Martin. “Although my legs were sore, especially my thighs, it was worth it.”
Neal Tredinnick, a farrier from Steeple Bumpstead, Essex, finished the London Marathon in 3hr 48min and has so far raised £1,200 for Spinal Injuries Association.
Paul Adams, a sales executive at Lingfield Park racecourse completed the marathon in 5hr 27min and raised around £500 for the Brooke, despite a foot injury.
He said: “Prior to the run, my physio strapped my foot up so I could actually run the race. It was really tough — after running 20 miles my muscles just stopped working and my foot started throbbing so I limped the final 6 miles. I ended up crossing the finishing line with just one shoe on. But all in all it was still so worth it for the Brooke. Next time, (if there is a next time) I’ll know what to expect!”
And Iraq veteran Phil Packer, who lost the use of his legs in an attack in Basra in 2008, walked the marathon in 26 hours — in aid of 26 charities including the Riding for the Disabled Association. He has raised £1,444.