A group of Horsham runners completed the London Marathon, capping a nine month fundraising effort for St Catherine’s Hospice.
Dave Kirkham, his wife Jane Kirkham, Paul and Tracey Edwards, and Bob Morris, along with around 40 supporters, made the trip up to the capital for one of the biggest sporting events of the year.
The group of 36 ‘Team Kirkham’ members have raised more than £26,000 through taking part in the Barns Green Half Marathon, the Chichester 10k, Brighton Half Marathon, and the 60-mile Surrey Hills Climb.
Dave said he was ‘so proud of everyone’ and wanted to thank everyone who had sponsored, taken part, or supported their efforts over the past nine months.
He said: “We were all at the finishing line and it was a fantastic feeling as we had all done it and we have raised money together.”
He started fundraising for the hospice last year after spending six days at the bedside of one of his best friends James Neal, who passed away after a 15 month battle with cancer.
Dave said: “It was an emotional time in London, because I had James on the back of my running vest for the whole 26 miles. It’s a hard race to run but you just think of why you are doing it.
“I visited James in so many different hospitals and the hospitals tried their hardest but you are just a number in a bed, but when you got to St Catherine’s he was looked after and not just James, I was, his wife, his children and his close friends. I believe they deserve something for that.”
He continued: “I want his kids growing up knowing that he was a good man and he was 43 years of age and he did not do anything wrong to anybody and he got cancer and it was so unfair.
“Though I’m not going to run the marathon again, I’m always going to have any evening for James so people do not forget him.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/teams/Teamkirkham