Local church raises over £17k for charity in Sierra Leone marathon
- Credit: Archant
A group of runners from a Norwich church has raised more than £17,000 for charity after taking part in a marathon in Sierra Leone.
St Thomas Norwich Church took 13 runners out to the African country to tackle the gruelling race in sweltering temperatures.
The total raised by the team so far is £17,371.80, and includes the £3,396.47 raised by vicar David Lloyd; £1,161.79 raised by A&E nurse Helen Pidgeon; and the £2,211.51 raised by 23-year-old twin brothers Joel and Joshua Glover. The quickest runners, David Lloyd and William Bacon, came in at four hours and 35 minutes.
Rev David described the marathon as 'an extraordinary event in 32 degree heat with 90pc humidity'.
He added that the group's times varied, up to seven hours 30 minutes, based on injuries, heat, and dehydration.
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He said: 'Everyone completed it but it is not like a normal marathon. There are very, very few hospitals in Sierra Leone and none that can deal with heat exhaustion.'
The race took place on Sunday, May 28, in Makeni, Sierra Leone. The runners set off at around 6am to avoid the worst of the day's heat. The marathon route takes the runners through the villages and communities helped by Street Child UK helps.
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Street Child UK is based in London but run by Tom Dannatt, from Norwich. St Thomas Norwich is part of the Churches for Street Child initiative, encouraging local churches to get involved with supporting the charity.
Zach, David Lloyd's son contributed to the fundraising efforts by arranging a collection of spare change. In a heartfelt note shared online, mum Anna Lloyd said her son counted the £11.50 in his money box, and said that he wanted 'to give it all to children who are sad, poor, and don't have any homes'.
Zach and his mum decided to arrange a collection called 'Zach's Small Change.' He reached a total of more than £625, and is continuing to collect online on the St Thomas team fundraising page, and in a collection box at his school. Mrs Lloyd described the race as an 'amazing marathon', and said all the runners had an 'incredible time'. At around 34 degrees, she said it was 'hotter, and a lot harder work than anticipated,' but still an 'incredibly moving experience'. Donations can be made to the group online here.