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Regional journalists raise thousands in London Marathon

Regional press journalists raised thousands of pounds for charity after completing the London Marathon.

Sports reporter Chris Phillips of the Southend Echo was among local newspaper journalists who took part in the 26-mile event yesterday.

Competing in his fourth London Marathon, Chris managed a time of five hours 36 minutes and raised £3,222 for Havens Hospices.

He tweeted that the death of a runner at the end of yesterday’s race put his slower-than-expected time into perspective.

Said Chris:  “Not a good time but for once I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I tried my hardest, ran the whole way and I’ve raised nearly 4 grand.

“Awful to hear that one of my fellow runners died at the end of the marathon. Thoughts are with his family and friends. So sad. Also really puts into perspective that running  slower than you hoped doesn’t really matter at all.”

Chris Phillips is training for his fourth London Marathon

Also taking part was Richard Parker, editor of the Keighley News, who finished in a time of five hours 11 minutes.

Richard was fund-raising for his newspaper’s £1m appeal to save the local Sue Ryder home and was hoping to raise around £3,000.

George Thorpe of the Brentwood Weekly News managed a time of four hours 34 minutes, declaring himself “very happy with that” on Twitter.

George was aiming to raise £2,000 for the cancer charity set up in memory of BBC sports presenter Helen Rollason.

He tweeted last night:  “Still can’t move my legs properly after doing #LondonMarathon yesterday, but worst thing I’m suffering from is horrific sunburn on shoulders.”

George, fourth left in blue vest, was captured crossing the line by his friend Gareth Carr.

Three journalists from Archant also took part in the race, one of them actually qualifiying for the ‘championship’ start just behind the elite men.

Brad Jones, a news editor at Archant Suffolk, finished 162nd overall in a time of two hours 38 minutes.

He said: “My previous two marathons had been wrecked by injury, so it was great to finally get to the finish line in one piece. Training over the winter months was hard work, running 70 to 80 miles a week, but it was more than worth it.

“Probably the oddest thing that happened on the day was being handed a drink by England rugby union captain Chris Robshaw at one of the last water stations – you don’t get that at local races.

Archant Suffolk health reporter Lauren Everitt completed her first London Marathon in support of St Elizabeth Hospice on her 26th birthday, finishing the race in around seven hours.

“The first few miles were really good but it became harder than I ever imagined towards then end and I found it a real mental battle just to keep going,” she said.

And Dave Powles, digital editor for the Eastern Daily Press, ground out a time of four hours 26 minutes despite hitting the wall at the 20-mile stage.

Dave, who was fundraising for local charity Ormiston Famlies, said: “All the training in the world clearly can’t prevent a marathon meltdown. For the final seven miles, muscles I never knew existed cramped up.”