Clare’s run raises £710 for Fakenham children’s centre

Clare Vassallo ran the Greater Manchester Marathon, raising over £700 for the Fakenham Children's Ce

Clare Vassallo ran the Greater Manchester Marathon, raising over £700 for the Fakenham Children's Centre. Also pictured are her son Freddie (10), (L) assistant manager Kate Stephens and (R) manager Joanna Ryan. Picture: Ian Burt

A runner who decided to attempt her first marathon before she turns 40 not only completed it. She also raised more than £710 for the Fakenham Children's Day Care Centre.

Clare Vassallo, 39, who completed the Manchester Marathon in 4hrs, 18mins and 57secs, wanted to thank the centre for helping to look after her son Freddie, so she could return to work.

'The marathon started in a bit of a rush as we had left the hotel an hour and a half before race time to park in a car park only 10 minutes away, and 45 mins before the start I had to get out of the car and walk over a mile to the start,' she said. 'This made the start quite stressful and I was feeling very nervous.'

Despite this, things got off to a good start for Clare. More used to pounding the pavements around Fakenham on her training runs, she was amazed how many people were taking part and spectating.

'The start was very crowded and took about 10 minutes to get over the start line,' she said. 'By this time my family still had not parked and called me on my mobile to say they had finally parked about 9.30am and would see me at about the five mile mark. When I finally saw them I could relax and enjoy it.

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'I tagged along with a complete stranger called Jane from about 2-3 miles in and we ran the whole way including crossing the finish line together.

'The second half of the race was particularly tough as I had never run further than 22 miles so needed to push myself on, also the heat had become an issue and the drinks were not lasting as long as before.'

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Clare was thrilled to raise £710.00 for the children's centre, on Field Lane. She said she wanted to thank Gary Steward and Steward Safety Supplies for donating new running items and paying for overnight stays, Ghretta Cooper for accompanying her on training runs and Mark High and Freddie Vassallo for putting up with her during 32 weeks of training.

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