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Regional press runners' marathon efforts

Regional newspaper journalists from around the country have been recovering this week after successfully completing the London Marathon.

Jane Manning, Chris Oxley, Charles Elder, Jane Woodhead, Michael Jones and Alan Williams were among 32,000 participants who ran the tough 26.2 mile course.

For Liverpool Echo feature writer Jane Woodhead, (32), the event was her first marathon, but it probably won’t be her last as she is already back in training with the aim of beating this year’s time of five hours.

She said: “I was hoping to finish slightly under that, but to finish is an achievement in itself.

“I know it’s a cliché, but it was the best day of my life – it was very emotional when I received my medal.”

With the help of her running partner and personal trainer Andy Gilbert, Jane also managed to raise £2,000, which will be split between Leukaemia Research and the Echo’s Sunrise Fund, which is supporting Barnardo’s this year.

Alan Williams, news editor of the Somerset Standard and Somerset Guardian, collected £5,500 in sponsorship for Cystic Fibrosis Trust – the organisation which funds research into the life-threatening condition he has suffered from all his life.

And despite his condition, Alan, (25), managed to complete the course in a respectable 4h 28min.

He said: “It went brilliantly – I didn’t hit ‘the wall’ and was able to enjoy the whole run. I started right at the back so I had a slow start and just got quicker and quicker.”

Plymouth Evening Herald sub-editor Charles Elder enjoyed a smooth, injury-free race, with a finish time of just 3h 3min.

Charles, (37), said: “It went very well. Between 16 and 17 miles was probably the hardest part when I ran out of steam a bit, but it was a great feeling at the end.”

The Scunthorpe Telegraph’s Jane Manning was pleased with her performance – completing the marathon in 3h 44 mins and 32 seconds – 28 seconds inside her target time.

The 39-year-old deputy editor also managed to raise £1,000 for the Crosby Community Association in what was her second London Marathon.

She said: “It was a bit damp, but good fun. I was three minutes faster than last time and felt I ran better – I only really felt it on the last couple of miles.”

Chris Oxley from the Hull Daily Mail also completed his second London Marathon this time around, although he was slightly disappointed with his finish time of 4h 6min after completing the course in 3h 43min last year.

The 42-year-old assistant production editor said: “I got cramp at 18 miles which was very painful, and it wasn’t much fun at the end!

“But it was still a great day and I’ll be back next year as I’m determined to get down to 3h 30min.”

Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph photographer Michael Jones also endured a painful race, but still managed to achieve a finishing time of 5h 7min – raising some £1,500 for the MS Society with the help of the Evening Telegraph and parent-company Johnston Press which pledged to match the first £500 he raised.

Michael, (40), said: “My target was five hours, but I am just delighted to have finished.

“Towards the end it was incredibly painful, but the crowd were amazing and helped me to keep going – I couldn’t go out and run 26.2 miles anywhere else.”

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