Local support spurs on marathon efforts to beat the weather

THREE women helped to raise nearly £13,000 for charity by running the virtual London Marathon from their homes in Woking and West End.

Tamsin Sharland, from Goldsworth Park, helped to raise £6,500 for Children with Cancer UK with three friends from Surrey while Fiona Tyson has so far collected £4,160 for the Stroke Association.

Tamsin Sharland running in Horsell with friend Simon Castle, who accompanied her on the first half

Henrietta Stock, who was brought up in Woking, has raised £2,300 for Music in Hospitals & Care.

Tamsin had planned to run with three friends from Mytchett, London and Bournemouth but couldn’t join them because of the “rule of six” restrictions.

Instead, she ran from her home near Goldsworth Park lake, around Addlestone and Ottershaw.

Fiona Tyson in her Stroke Association running gear

Tamsin was prompted to run for the charity after her son Sam, now 12, received a diagnosis of leukaemia when he was 5 and spend the next three years being treated at various hospitals.

She discovered running during the treatment.

“Running has a huge impact on my mental health, both positive and negative. Running helps me clear my head, gives me space to think and feel.

“However, the negative to this, is that once Sam finished treatment, I couldn’t put my trainers on. I associated running with Sam being ill. I got a complete mental block.”

Last year, Tamsin decided to enter the 2020 London Marathon after running around Goldsworth Park Lake.

Henrietta Stock keeps her spirits up as she runs through the rain playig a rousing tune on her recorder

The event was then postponed until October 4 and then restricted to the elite athletes. All the other 45,000 runners, including Tamsin, Fiona and Henrietta eH, were invited to complete the 26.2miles in their local areas.

Tamsin said the downpour on Sunday summed up 2020 perfectly.

“It was like biblical rain. I don’t normally run in the rain but there was flooding on the roads and the pavement.

“At 11 miles I went home to change all my clothes and gear because I was so wet and cold.”

Tamsin finally finished the distance after running for 5hrs 19mins.

Tamsin, who has lived in Woking for 16 years, was met at the finish by Sam, younger son Ross, 10, and her husband Stewart.

Fiona was supported by dozens of people who “popped up” as she ran around West End, Lightwater, Windlesham and Chobham in heavy wind and rain.

Tamsin arrives home welcomed by husband Stewart and son Sam

“It was obviously hard, but the amount of local support I had was humbling,” said the 51-year-old sports therapist from West End.

“All the way round people came out to wave and clap and provide jelly babies in the horrible pouring rain. I couldn’t have done it without those supporters.”

Fiona was prompted to run her second marathon to raise money for the Stroke Association that supported her sister Claire after she had a severe stroke. She has so far raised £4,160.

Fiona ran her first London Marathon 11 years ago to raise money for breast cancer research. “After that, I said ‘never again’ but Claire suffered a stroke and got some fantastic help from the Stroke Association and I decided to support that charity.

“I don’t want to say she is lucky. But she is one of the lucky ones as treatment was given early and she worked hard on recuperation and is recovering well.”

Henrietta reaches her finish line

Henrietta’s route included Barnsbury Primary School, where she first learnt to play the recorder, while she ran the marathon while playing around 40 tunes.

She ran the Surrey Half Marathon last year while playing the recorder to prepare for the marathon.H

Henrietta plays the flute and so is used to controlled breathing but said she found the run on Sunday quite tough.

“The weather didn’t help and I was feeling quite out of breath in the second half,” she said.

Henrietta said she particularly enjoyed playing the Queen hit We Are the Champions because it lifted her spirits.

She gave an ironic nod to the enormous effort and pain experienced by all the charity runners by finishing with the theme from MASH, the TV series, Suicide is Painless.

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