GALLERY: Marathon runners raise £80k for hospice

Runners raised £80,000 for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice in the Brighton Marathon and BM10k.

A total of 199 people from across Sussex and further afield set out from Preston Park last weekend and were supported by volunteer cheer teams along the route.

Chestnut Tree House runners were grateful for the support they received in the Brighton Marathon

Chestnut Tree House runners were grateful for the support they received in the Brighton Marathon

There were 97 people running in the 10k race for Chestnut Tree House and 102 took on the full 26.2-mile course.

The first Chestnut Tree House runner to complete the marathon was 48-year-old George Miller from Steyning, who ran the course in 3:18:38.

It was a double success for George, as not only did the first-time marathon runner beat his target time of 3:30, but he raised £1,120 – smashing his £750 fundraising target.

George said he was inspired by the amazing work the hospice does for children and young people with life-shortening conditions and their families.

Steve Bird, 39, from Burgess Hill, ran the marathon in 3:26:28, Chestnut Tree House trustee David Pegler, 50, had a personal best of 3:35:14, and first-time marathon runner Jaimey Willett, 37, from Chichester achieved 4:18:53.

Lee Kemp, 35, is already planning to run his fourth Brighton Marathon for the hospice next year.

He said: “When I visited Chestnut Tree House, I was moved by the care services they offer and inspired by the incredible work they do. The care they provide to local children and families is so important – that’s what I run for.

“I was aiming for under four hours so am delighted with my time of 3:58:19. This was the third time I’ve run the Brighton Marathon for Chestnut Tree House and I’m already planning to come back next year.

“The support around the course from the charity really helps encourage me, so I’d like to thank all the volunteers who came out to cheer us all on.”

In the BM10k race, 41-year-old Steve Allen was the charity’s first across the finish line, with a time of 38:57.

All runners for Chestnut Tree House were given a warm post-race welcome at the charity’s tent in the event village, where they could meet some of the team, refuel and recover with a complimentary massage from Niki Harrington of Symbiosis.

Lauren Gowing, events fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House, said: “The event went really well and it was great to meet our runners and congratulate them on their achievement.

“We feel privileged that so many people chose to run for us. It’s wonderful to see the familiar faces of runners who have supported us for some time but equally inspiring to meet people who have chosen to support Chestnut Tree House for the first time this year.

“We need to raise £6,850 every day to cover the cost of all Chestnut Tree House’s care services, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes. The £80,000 raised by our Brighton Marathon and BM10k runners will cover our care costs for over 11 days, which is incredible.

“Ultimately, support like this helps us to continue helping life-limited children across Sussex and south east Hampshire.

“We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who ran for us, as well as our supporters and volunteers who helped on the day. Thanks too to the Brighton Mini Club for showing their support during the cavalcade, Symbiosis for offering complimentary massages, and South Downs Water for donating water to our runners.”

Chestnut Tree House will soon have places available for next year’s Brighton Marathon on Sunday, April 14, 2019. Visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/brightonmarathon to find out more.