London Marathon: S Yorks runners on their marks

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Runners from South Yorkshire will be taking to the streets of the capital on Sunday for the annual London Marathon.

The athletes will take part in a 30-second silence at the start of the 26.2 mile race to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Three people died and dozens were injured when two bombs were detonated at the finish of the US race in a suspected terrorist attack.

All are raising funds for charity and have their own stories to tell.

Karen Birch, from Woodhouse, Sheffield, is running in memory of her cousin Dawn Wragg who died from breast cancer in 2007 and in celebration of her mum Ann, who is in remission from the illness.

She is also running in support of her friend Natalie who is fighting breast cancer and hopes to raise £1,700 for Breast Cancer Care.

Karen, aged 40, said she would be travelling down with her mum, and friends Paul, Helena, Renata and Richard.

She said: “I’m both excited and nervous.

“Boston has made me nervous, more for the people who are coming to support me. But I am not going to let it stop me from joining in on what will be an amazing day.”

She added: “I will be running for my mum, Dawn and Natalie, as well as the people of Boston.”

Peter Knight, from Stocksbridge, will be dressed as a bottle of beer.
Peter, whose costume - a bottle of Farmer’s Blonde - has been donated by Bradfield Brewery, is hoping to break the Guiness World Record of three hours, 39 minutes for the fastest male to run a marathon dressed as a bottle.

He is raising funds for the Stroke Association, after his dad suffered a stroke 15 years ago.

He said: “The charity provided us with valuable support and any money raised as a result of my challenge will help them to continue their superb work.

Anthony Vallance-Owen, aged 29, from Sheffield, who celebrates his 30th birthday the day before the race.

He running for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, where he was treated as a child for croup, which developed into septic shock.

Anthony, from Nether Edge, said: “I want to raise as much money as possible.

“I’ve seen first-hand the amazing work it helps to fund and now I want to help more children like me.”

Meanwhile Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis said he would be wearing a black armband in memory of the Boston victims and is running for Cancer Research UK.

Dan, whose first wife died from bowel cancer in 2010, said: “I’m really looking forward to running the London Marathon this Sunday in support of Cancer Research UK.

“I know first hand the devastation which cancer causes amongst families. It can affect all of us, no matter how young or what our circumstances are.

“The terrible events in Boston are tragic and my thoughts go out to the families and friends of those involved.

“I will be wearing a black ribbon in honour of the victims of the Boston bombings.”

Husband and wife duo James and Lesley Bramall, a 46-year-old sales assistant, from Penistone, are running in aid of Children With Cancer UK.

James, aged 52, a crime scene investigator, said: “It’s a very worthwhile charity and a colleague at work has a child with cancer.”

Meanwhile 33-year-old vet, Rob Haselgrove from Bents Green, Ecclesall, is raising funds for the PDSA.

It is the first marathon for Rob, who works at the PDSA PetAid Hospital in Sheffield.

Also on the start line will be Philip Williams, who is branch manager for Haybrook estate agents in Woodseats.

Philip has lost two stone during his training for the event and is fundraising for Magic Moments, the agency’s nominated charity, which organises dream holidays for sick children.

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