South Holland’s heroes are determined to run in Sunday’s London Marathon – undaunted by bomb blasts that left three dead and more than 170 injured in America.
Deeping St Nicholas runner Chris Shingles was one of the first to ask the London organisers to allow runners to wear black armbands as a mark of respect to the dead and injured from the pressure cooker bombs set off near the finish line at Monday’s Boston Marathon.
The London event will be broadcast worldwide and Chris says the black armbands will underline their sympathy with Boston.
Chris (31) went straight on to Internet runners’ forums when the news broke.
He said: “A lot of people are doing the London Marathon, one purely as a mark of respect and two because they are not going to let these individuals spoil what they have trained for over many months.
“We are not going to be intimidated by these cowards and everybody is sticking together.
“It was a hell of a shock when I turned on the TV and saw the scenes in Boston. It was horrendous.”
Chris, a fish and chip shop manager, hopes to raise at least £2,300 for Children with Cancer UK, and is determined to go the distance.
He said: “From what I have heard from my friends, they are really up for it.”
District councillor Andrew Woolf will wear a black ribbon when he runs in Sunday’s marathon.
He says the runners’ thoughts will be with the people of Boston who lost loved ones or were injured in the terrorist bomb attacks.
Coun Woolf had confirmation yesterday from the London Marathon organisers that each start-up line on Sunday will have a 30 second silence to remember the dead and injured in America and black ribbons to wear.
He said: “It’s very tragic what’s gone on there. Your thoughts have to go out to those who have lost people and those that are injured. I hope the injured make a good recovery.”
The councillor will be celebrating his 40th birthday as he joins 35,000 people for the run.
He admits to having some concern about what could happen in London on the day, but it’s not enough to stop him running for his good cause, Diabetes UK.
“As a runner, training has been going on for several months – and what you go through to get to the day, it certainly shouldn’t put anybody off,” he said.
Weston Hills farmer Will Halgarth (45) is raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care as a thank you to the nurses who cared for his dad, John, who died two years ago.
He described the terrorist attacks on innocent bystanders in Boston as “very sad”, but he’s still going to run and take his partner and two children to watch,
Will said: “I am not going to worry about it as a risk factor. I just think it’s very sad that people need to do these things, really. I am very sorry for the people who were killed and got hurt.”