Redbridge runners prepare for race of their lives in gruelling London Marathon
- Credit: Archant
Runners from across Redbridge are gearing up for the race of their lives, as they take to the start line of today’s London Marathon.
Months of tiring training will culminate in a 26.2 mile run through London, with crowds expected to cheer them on all along the route.
Among them will be a South Woodford father-of-two, who will power his wheelchair through the capital, using Goodmayes’ 102-year-old runner Fauja Singh for inspiration.
Gary Donald, 58, of Maybank Road, has not taken part in any sports for the last 20 years and has been in a wheelchair since 1990 because he has a spinal condition.
But he said he feels like a “baby” compared to Fauja, who is known around the world for his marathon-running exploits and who completed his sixth London Marathon in 2012 aged 101.
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He will be cheered on by his wife Barbara and his 29-year-old daughter Jemima and is raising money for the wheelchair club at www.justgiving.com/Gary-Donald1.
And the man who helped Fauja become a global sensation will also rise to the challenge of the London course – for the 29th time in a row.
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Harmander Singh, 53, of Wellesley Road, Ilford, coached the Turbaned Tornado, as Fauja is known.
Harmander has prepared five other runners from the Sikhs in the City group for the challenge, with Jaspreet Kaur Lall, a 29-year-old dentist from Ilford and Manpreet Kaur Sahemey, a 31-year-old doctor from Redbridge, taking part for the first time.
Meanwhile Jaimie Sinclair, 33, of Taunton Close, Hainault, is running for the Lymphoma Association because his friend’s wife had the cancer and he is taking her place after she became pregnant.
Leanne Silver was due to take part after getting the all-clear a couple of years ago, but is now expecting her third child.
Her husband Marc Silver, 35, of Harlow, Essex, will also run for the charity.
Visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/2men to donate.
A former pupil at Valentines High School in Cranbrook Road, Ilford, has been training by running back and forth along her 75ft garden path.
Natalie Silverstone, who grew up in Glenham Drive, Gants Hill, and who now lives in Loughton, wanted to train but couldn’t leave her 13-year-old autistic son Cameron.
So she hit on the solution of preparing with laps in her garden and will now get to run the more scenic London route for the National Autistic Society.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/nataliesilverstone.