Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Brighton Marathon runners fly flag for Air Ambulance

Photo 1: Ben Mundy pictured near the finish line

Photo 2: Air ambulance paramedic Lewis Price

A team of 18 runners completed Sunday’s Brighton Marathon in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance which will next year be one of the race’s official Charity Partners.

One of the helicopter’s paramedics, Lewis Price, and BBC Radio 1 and BBC Three’s Ben Mundy were among the group of runners for the air ambulance which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Newsbeat reporter Ben, from Sittingbourne, beat his four-hour target by just two minutes and shaved almost half an hour off his previous best in the London Marathon two years ago.

The former Borden Grammar School pupil decided to support the charity after covering a new story about cycling accidents which the air ambulance is often called to.

Ben, 30, said: “It’s an amazing cause and it was such a great day. I had a bit of a wobble around the 16-20-mile mark but I managed to find a guy who I used to play football with and ran with him for a few miles.

“It’s funny how thousands enter the marathon and you end up seeing people you know. My training got me to 21 miles so I knew if I could reach 21 it was going to be close.”

One of the air ambulance’s pilots, Pilot Mark Howard-Smith was forced to pull out if the race at the last minute through injury but watched proudly as partner Danielle Harris, from Shoreham, completed the race in 4hrs, 8mins.

Paramedic Lewis, from Deal, clocked 4hrs, 26mins in his first 26-miler and has so far raised more than £700 for the charity which relies almost entirely on donations.

He said: “I hit the wall at 22 miles and it was painful. I tried to walk but that hurt even more so I had to run again. I ended up running with Batman and Superman!

“The support out there from everyone, the crowd and the charity was really fantastic. I did it because I like a challenge and I’ve signed up for next year.”

The charity’s other runners were Ciaran O’Reilly from County Kerry, Ireland (3hrs,50mins), Matthew Pitteway from Petworth (3hrs,57mins), Steve Tinson, from Brighton (3hrs,58mins),  Ben Parkinson from Ashford (4hrs,4mins), Rory Burdfield from Littlehampton (4hrs,26mins), Annabel Scott from Burgess Hill (4hrs,31mins), Jo Mitchell from Epsom (4hrs,32mins), Tom West from Tonbridge (4hrs,48mins), Sarah Gess from Redhill (4hrs,51mins), trainee paramedic Victoria Pearce from Faversham, (5hrs,3mins), Steve Martin from Brighton (5hrs,3mins), Harry Barwick from Sutton, (5hrs,9mins), Eddie Preece from Shoreham (5hrs,30mins) Tom McLeish from Crawley Down (6hrs,13mins) and PCSO Graeme Foster from Worthing (7hrs,5mins).

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will be one of the 2016 Brighton Marathon’s official Charity Partners and is appealing for runners to sign up now. If you would like to run for the air ambulance please contact Lauren Elphick on 01622 833833 or email laurene@kssairambulance.org.uk

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