Nine runners who ran the Manchester Marathon admitted it was an emotional and exhausting experience – but the £8,500 they raised made it all worth it.
Tom Benson, Sam Wixted, Chris Anderson, Ed Williams, Louis Percival, Adam Stockdale, Tom Berwick, Richard Johnson and Joel Melia – who range from ages 22 to 24 – called themselves “Team Kevs” and ran the 26.2 miles.
Many have football in their blood as Chris is a former Burnley professional, Ed is an ex-Turf Moor apprentice while Adam played for Accrington Stanley. They now play for Colne FC in the North- West Counties League along with Tom Berwick and Richard Johnson.
They were raising money for two charities and far exceeded their £5,000 target. The first was Wythenshawe Hospital Adult Cystic Fibrosis unit where their friend Max Blanche was looked after until he died last year at the age of 20.
The second charity is the Breast Cancer Campaign in memory of Janet Benson, runner Tom’s mum, who died a few years ago at the age of 49 after a nine-year battle with breast cancer.
“It was an emotional day as seeing Max’s mum Sharon Blanche on the course really gave us that extra push,” said Tom, with the group also having a fund-raising night at Illuminati Bar in Burnley for the two charities recently.
The race was really tough, very emotional and one of the hardest thing we’ve all doneTom Benson
“We’ve raised an amazing amount of nearly £8.5k and hopefully can we can reach £9k before the fund-raising page closes next month.
“The race was really tough, very emotional and one of the hardest thing we’ve all done.
“Adam Stockdale and I stuck together all the way but he sprinted off at the finish line to claim first place in our team. I was more than happy to let him go as he had carried me for four miles and we finished in three hours 47 minutes. Ed Williams came in next at 3.55 and then Joel Melia and Tom Berwick completed the course in 3.58. Sam Wixted came in at 4.10, with Richard Johnson behind him at 4.15. Chris Anderson and Louis Percival picked up an injury at 16 miles and somehow managed to carry themselves for 10 more miles over the line at 4.50.
“I am not sure the Colne FC guys will be ready for the final games of the season though as we are all aching!”
You can still donate to Team Kevs by going to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Kevs2