Pendle duo complete virtual London Marathon

Two friends took to the hills, bridleways and footpaths of Pendle as they completed a marathon with a difference for Pendleside Hospice.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 3:45 pm
Andrew Riley and Carl Hodgson

Andrew Riley, of Higherford, and Carl Hodgson, of Fence, were taking part in Virgin’s Virtual London Marathon.

They had both won a place in the annual 26-mile race which usually takes places in April. The event was postponed until October due to the pandemic and when it became apparent to organisers that this date too would be impossible, they decided to organise a virtual run.

Carl said: “Last year I completed my own Pendle Hill Challenge - 54 laps, 82 mile in 32hrs - in memory of my mum Maureen Hodgson who died in January last year from cancer.

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“I wanted to set myself a new challenge, so decided to enter the ballot for the marathon. Everyone told me it was unlikely I’d get in first time - but I did!”

“I started training last year, but when it looked like the marathon wasn’t going to happen, my training runs dwindled. However, when I found out they were doing a virtual event instead, I knew I had to get back out there!”

Andrew is no novice to the marathon, having run the London Marathon four times including one in each of the UK countries last year over a 5-week period.

Many will remember him for his unique running gear; a fat Elvis costume!

The two runners set off from Carl’s home at 7-30am on Sunday, October 4th and returned muddy yet happy at just after 3pm.

Andrew said: “I do a lot of training around Pendle, so knew what we were setting ourselves up for. It was tough, but the weather was kind and we encouraged each other on the whole way.”

Carl said: “It was tough on the knees with all those inclines and downhills, so I was thankful to Andrew for pushing me along, as well as to all our friends and family supporting us along the way.”

Carl’s mum Maureen, and Andrew’s dad Brian, were both cared for at Pendleside Hospice and both are incredibly grateful for the support the nurses gave them at such a difficult time.

Carl added: “A good friend of mine, who joined me on the final day of the walk last year, Martin Murphy, got the devastating news that he had cancer in February this year, and he died this month.

“It really did give me the extra push to raise as much money as I can to help families suffering with this horrendous disease.”

Anybody wishing to donate can do so here