Trio’s Paris Marathon bid in memory of Dereham’s ‘Huggy’

PUBLISHED: 11:25 28 March 2014 | UPDATED: 11:25 28 March 2014

Friends (from left) Ian Odgers, Nick Parnell and Jonathan Burton are running the Paris Marathon in April. Picture: Ian Burt

Friends (from left) Ian Odgers, Nick Parnell and Jonathan Burton are running the Paris Marathon in April. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

Three men are set to pound the streets of the French capital in memory of a close friend.

Jonathan Burton, Ian Odgers and Nick Parnell have been training throughout the winter months and competing at events in the run up to next weekend’s Paris Marathon.

The trio are running in aid of the oesophagogastric cancer ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after their friend Adrian Hargreaves died from the disease last year.

Mr Hargreaves, who was known as “Huggy” and lived in Beeston with his wife Linda and their four young children, died aged 45 in August – just six weeks after he was diagnosed with the disease.

Married father-of-two Mr Burton, 46, from Dereham, said: “Raising money for the charity is a small way to recognise the work that was undertaken during Adrian’s illness, and indeed to help with future research into the disease.

“I went to school with Adrian from day one, so had known him basically for all my life, and to hear the news that we did last year about Adrian was a terrible shock.

“Hopefully running, and raising awareness for the disease will go some of the way to help prevent others go through what Adrian and his family experienced last year.”

For Mr Odgers, next weekend’s 26.2-mile event will be his fourteenth marathon after swapping cigarettes for trainers 10 years ago.

The protagonist of the fundraiser is also running in memory of his grandfather Bert Odgers who died when he was 13 to oesophageal cancer. To boost their fundraising effort, the trio will host a post marathon fundraising event at the Railway Tavern in Dereham on Easter Saturday, April 19, in the form of an eighties-themed night, with all funds going to their chosen charity.

To sponsor them, go to or text OGCA88 then the donation amount to 70070.

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