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3am starts for Norfolk runners as London Marathon goes ahead in new form

PUBLISHED: 13:06 04 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:50 04 October 2020

Ali Brister, from St William's Way primary in Thorpe, completed the 40th London Marathon. Photo: Submitted

Ali Brister, from St William's Way primary in Thorpe, completed the 40th London Marathon. Photo: Submitted

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Runners around the county have marked the 40th London Marathon in first-of-their-kind circumstances.

Councillor Mike Smith-Clare has completed the 40th London Marathon after starting at 3am. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare
Councillor Mike Smith-Clare has completed the 40th London Marathon after starting at 3am. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare

The popular race had been rescheduled from April to October in light of coronavirus, but was later cancelled to all but elite runners.

It didn’t deter athletes in Norfolk, though, who laced up their running shoes and headed out anyway.

They included Mike Smith-Clare, a Labour county and district councillor in Great Yarmouth, who set his alarm for 3am to take part.

“It was a wonderful event and great to see so many local residents joining in,” he said.

Councillor Mike Smith-Clare has completed the 40th London Marathon after starting at 3am. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare
Councillor Mike Smith-Clare has completed the 40th London Marathon after starting at 3am. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare

“Even the rain couldn’t put a dampener on our spirits. It took me seven hours to complete having started at three in the morning - and I’m just glad to have finished and raised some money for the homeless charity Shelter.”

Cathy Cordiner-Achenbach, a fellow councillor in Great Yarmouth, also completed the race and said: “I’m so proud to be involved. I’ve had friends and family come out to support me - it’s a dream come true.”

Other runners included Ali Brister from St William’s Primary in Thorpe St Andrew, who ran in aid of Children with Cancer UK.

Editor of this newspaper David Powles brought the marathon to Hethersett in aid of the Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal, joined by Kate Gooding, also in the village, who is running for Cancer Research UK.

Elsewhere, Lowestoft’s Charles ‘Len’ Cousens, one of the Ever Presents club, a group of runners who have taken part in every marathon, took part this year, marking his 40th and final race.


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