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Runners refuse to let weather stop them from completing half marathon

PUBLISHED: 16:32 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:32 05 April 2018

John and Lucy coming up to the end of their half marathon for Cancer Research UK and Rethink Mental Illness. Photo: Courtesy of John Kirkum

John and Lucy coming up to the end of their half marathon for Cancer Research UK and Rethink Mental Illness. Photo: Courtesy of John Kirkum

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Despite the lashing rain and widespread flooding in the region two determined runners were not going to be thwarted by the weather again.

Father and daughter duo John and Lucy Kirkum before they set out on their 'Horham Half Marathon'. Photo: Courtesy of John KirkumFather and daughter duo John and Lucy Kirkum before they set out on their 'Horham Half Marathon'. Photo: Courtesy of John Kirkum

John and Lucy Kirkum had signed up to race in the Bath Half Marathon last month which was cancelled last minute due to snow so the pair decided to run their own event over Easter.

The father and daughter duo set off from Horham and ran a 13.1 mile loop ending at the village’s Old School where their friends and family cheered them over the line.

John, 51, said: “We had been training for the Bath Half Marathon all through the winter months and we were determined to complete the distance in honour of all our sponsors.

“Therefore we created our own ‘Horham Half’ and we would like to thank everyone who helped us raise lots of money at the Old School.”

John and Lucy Kirkum with their supporters after running 13.1 miles in the rain and floods. Photo: Courtesy of John KirkumJohn and Lucy Kirkum with their supporters after running 13.1 miles in the rain and floods. Photo: Courtesy of John Kirkum

The pair, who both live in Horham, decided to take on the challenge in Bath as it is where 19-year-old Lucy is at university studying French and politics.

It was the first time in its history that the Bath Half Marathon was cancelled.

John and Lucy raised £1,254 for their chosen charities - Cancer Research UK and Rethink Mental Illness - so knew they could not let the weather get the better of them a second time.

“The heavy rain did not prevent us from setting off on Easter Monday,” John said.

“However the run turned into an assault course as we had to negotiate a number of flooded roads by climbing up the verges or running through long stretches of deep water.”

The duo completed the half marathon in two hours and 26 minutes after being slowed down from their original goal by the conditions.

The Bath Half attracts 14,000 runners and around 30,000 spectators while the ad hoc Horham Half was a little smaller.

John added: “We were very flattered by the friends and neighbours who turned out to support us on the day and cheered us over the finish line.”

After their soggy run John and Lucy hosted a celebration at Horham Old School with all their supporters.

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