Long-distance runners soak up atmosphere of a lifetime

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Runners from South Holland and The Deepings proudly flew the flag for the area and raised thousands of pounds for charity at Sunday’s London Marathon.

Several athletes from the area were among 36,000 runners who take part in the 26.2 mile event for charities, including Diabetes UK and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

There was a 30-second silence before the race in memory of those killed and injured in last week’s Boston Marathon explosion and runners wore black ribbons on their vests as a mark of respect.

Chris Shingles (32) of Deeping St Nicolas, who ran for Children with Cancer UK, said: “It was such a brilliant day, the crowds came out in their thousands and the noise along the entire course was deafening.

“I ran the London Marathon back in 2011 but with what happened in Boston, we wanted to show the world that we weren’t going to be defeated by terrorism.”

Farmer Will Hargarth (45) of Weston Hills, who ran for Marie Curie Cancer Care, said: “It was my first marathon and all the way round I was cheered by the crowds who were out of this world.”

Retained firefighter Darren Warner (30) of Crowland, raising money for The Firefighters Charity, said: “I’ve never experienced anything like it and I would definitely think about doing it again.

South Holland District Council member Andrew Woolf (40), who ran for Diabetes UK, said: “It was unbelievable and from mile one to mile 26, the crowds were absolutely fantastic.”