Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Brighton Marathon runners raise £32,000 for air ambulance

Photo: Stuart Johnstone

A team of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance patients, crew, staff and trustees helped raise more than £32,000 for the lifesaving charity by running Sunday’s Brighton Marathon and 10k.

More than 100 runners pounded the streets of the city in aid of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) which was an official Charity Partner of this year’s race.

One of them was biker Stuart Johnstone from Peacehaven who was airlifted after a road accident last June. He completed the 10k in 56mins,38 secs.

Nicky Mason, from Hastings, also ran the 10k after the air ambulance was called to her son when he fell from cliffs.

The line-up also included marathon runners Adrian Golding from Crawley whose brother was airlifted after a car accident, and Crawley News reporter Dave Comeau.

Ryan Bingham, from Maidstone, ran his first marathon after his father was airlifted and Adrian Oliver (Sittingbourne) took on his first 26-miler after losing 7 stone, and raised more than £3,500 in sponsorship.

The air ambulance 10k team included doctors Neal Durge, Leonieke Vlaanderen, Nicky White (Maidstone) 1hr,17mins and Duncan Bootland (Brighton) who ran in his flying suit, in a time of 55mins,8secs.

Paramedic runners were David Wright (Reigate) 1hr,11mins, Richard de Coverly (Cranbrook) 1hr,14mins, Craig Prentice (Copthorne) 56mins,41secs, Lewis Price (Dover), and Ben Macauley (53mins,2secs) and Caroline Rose (1hr,1min) both from Horsham.

Executive Director Lynne Harris (Gillingham), Governance Assistant Sophy Dunn (Tunbridge Wells), dispatcher Jess Garland (Sittingbourne), trustee Paul Barratt (Canterbury) and HR & Support Administrator Michael Small, (Rainham) 1hr,14mins, also put their best feet forward.

Marathon runners were Dr David Hunt (Farnham) 4hrs,4mins, Lottery Manager James Cook (Gillingham) 4hrs,58 mins, and paramedic Jo Griggs (Whitstable).

Among the corporate teams were Howard Cundey Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors, market research company Facts International (Ashford) The Holiday Inn (Rochester) and finance company ABN AMRO (Haywards Heath).

With a record number of runners this year, the air ambulance was grateful to Smart Aviation for providing a large marquee for the runners to receive refreshments and a massage after the race.

Each helicopter callout costs about £2,500 and the sum raised so far from this year’s race is enough to fund 12 potentially lifesaving missions.

Head of Charity Operations Bridget Pepper said: “I’m once again humbled by the efforts all of our team have put in this year.

“Whether it be the first time 10k runner or the seasoned marathon runner, they have all been truly amazing and we’ve heard stories to make us weep and tales to make us laugh.

“We’ve heard about and seen the fantastic amounts of money that they have been raising and on behalf of all our patients who will be helped in the future by their efforts, we would like to say a huge thank you.”

Anyone interested in running next year’s Brighton Marathon and 10k on April 9th should call Lauren Elphick on 01622 833833 or email For more information visit

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