Local church raises over £17k for charity in Sierra Leone marathon

The St Thomas Norwich runners after completing the race. Photo: Jillian Fosten

The St Thomas Norwich runners after completing the race. Photo: Jillian Fosten - 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.

The marathon takes place in the 32 degree heat. Photo: Jillian Fosten

The marathon takes place in the 32 degree heat. Photo: Jillian Fosten - Credit: Archant

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.

The runners efforts have raised over £17k for the charity Street Child UK. Photo: Jillian Fosten

The runners efforts have raised over £17k for the charity Street Child UK. Photo: Jillian Fosten - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


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.

Most Read

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'.

The route goes through the villages surrounding the city of Makeni, Sierra Leone. Photo: Jillian Fos

The route goes through the villages surrounding the city of Makeni, Sierra Leone. Photo: Jillian Fosten - Credit: Archant

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.

Runners were smiling throughout the "moving" experience. Photo: Jillian Fosten

Runners were smiling throughout the "moving" experience. Photo: Jillian Fosten - Credit: Archant

St Thomas' Vicar David Lloyd with the children from the St Thomas Sanctuary School. Photo: Jillian F

St Thomas' Vicar David Lloyd with the children from the St Thomas Sanctuary School. Photo: Jillian Fosten - Credit: Archant

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus