London Marathon 2018: Local runners limber up for the race

Runners of the London Marathon 2018 are limbering up for the big race on Sunday. Nearly 40,000 will be running the 26.2-mile course on a day that is shaping up to be one of the hottest in the history of the event. We spoke to local participants about what is driving them to take part, the training they have put in and the money they hope to raise for charity.

Staff reporters

Staff reporters

London Marathon 2018: Local runners limber up for the race

Tammie and Robin Hawkins

One couple have been preparing for the marathon by training with their dogs.

Tammie and Robin Hawkins, from Altwood, go on training runs with their Staffordshire terrier cross and beagle, Chester and Buddy, who are fit enough to run 13 miles at a time.

Tammie said: “I have always wanted to do the London Marathon and have been turned down 11 times in the past. We have been training together a lot and we also have two dogs who run with us. They are super fit and lots of people say they recognise us when they see us out running with them.”

The pair will be raising money for Fight Bladder Cancer which Tammie’s mother was diagnosed with.

To sponsor the pair visit:

Jenni Trimlett

A novice runner who suffers from fibromyalgia is hoping to tick a marathon off her bucket list.

Jenni Trimlett, 30, from Maidenhead, has been training with a running app, which has helped her to go from 5k to 18 miles in four months.

She said: “I had a list of activities that I wanted to do, my bucket list, but when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I couldn’t do many of them and the list got shorter and shorter. Recently I have been feeling much better so I decided to revisit the list and started running.”

Jenni is running in aid of Heart UK. To donate, visit 

Kelly Blackall

A mother-of-two has raised more than £2,000 for a mental health charity ahead of her run.

Kelly Blackall works in Hair and Beauty Studio in Wootton Way and says colleagues have been a great help, having held a charity day at the salon.

The 41-year-old said: “Mental health affects so many of us and I want to raise awareness of this. Training has been hard to squeeze in around work.

“My aim on Sunday is to cross the finish line with a smile on my face.”

Visit to donate.

Ziggy Hill

A mother-of-two is running the London Marathon in aid of a charity that supported the family of a close friend.

Ziggy Hill, 44, from Lane End, will be raising money for Harrison’s Fund after her friend Zoe Muskett’s young nephew Leo was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the age of two.

The charity funds research into the rare genetic condition which causes muscles in the body to waste away. 

Ziggy said: “I’ve been training weekly to get fit ahead of the big day as I’ve only ever run in half marathons before – nothing as big as this, but I know the thought of Leo and all the other children out there like him will give me all the motivation I need to make it round the course and across that finish line.”

Ziggy is also raising money for Piggles Trust which supports early years education in hospitals.

To donate visit 

Anthony Hornby

A SportsAble worker is running on Sunday to raise money for the disability charity on the Braywick Road and to smash his target time.

Anthony Hornby was asked to run for SportsAble after it gained a place at the marathon.

The 25-year-old from Holyport has severe dyspraxia, which affects his speech.

Anthony said of SportsAble: “It’s a great community for all members and non-members to hang out, play different kind of sports and having a good time.

“All the members have all different types of abilities, from wheelchair users to people with no hands or legs or who are blind.”

Anthony, who is a member of Maidenhead Athletic Club, ran the London Marathon last year in four hours and 12 minutes and hopes to finish in under four hours on Sunday.

To sponsor Anthony and support SportsAble, visit 

Yaeger Irwin

The support of family and friends has helped a Cookham woman battle through a tough training period.

Yaeger Irwin, 32, of The Shaw, has been a 10k runner but will be stepping up to the 26.2-mile challenge in aid of the Children with Cancer charity.

She has been training since October, often joined by loved ones who have ridden alongside on bicycles.

Yaeger said: “I’ve been training in the snow and the cold so to go from that to the hot weather forecast for the weekend is going to be very difficult.”

Visit to donate.

Hilton Lindo

After swearing he would never be able to run a marathon, Hilton Lindo, 44, from Burnham, is running the race for his wife.

Six months after he married Jyotika in 2003 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He is now raising money for MS UK, which has has helped the family by providing information and advice.

“I’d never done an inch over a half before but I’ve been really enjoying it – there has been some crazy weather I’ve been running in,” he said.

 To donate, visit 

Lindsay Chan and Jane Dawson

Two members of Burnham Joggers, Lindsay Chan, 41, and Jane Dawson, 46, have been training and fundraising together for this year’s marathon.

Lindsay said they have both have beenaffected by breast cancer in their friends and families, and that her mother has had it four times since the age of 31.

So far the pair have raised more than £6,000 for the charity Breast Cancer Now.

Lindsay, a cabin service director for British Airways, said: “I’m a little bit nervous because it’s going to be hot. We’ve both got two kids and jobs so we’ve been getting up at like six in the morning, although I have managed to do some training in some places while I’ve been travelling away with work.”

To donate visit 

Melanie Tudor

A runner who is taking on the race for her third consecutive year is raising money for a mental health campaign.

Melanie Tudor, 44, of Furze Platt Road, will be supporting the Heads Together campaign, which seeks to tackle the stigma of mental health and raise awareness of resources.

Melanie’s father ended his life at her childhood home in Kent, almost four years ago.

She said: “He saw his ongoing struggles with severe depression as weakness rather than the terrible, often crippling illness that it is and many people were surprised to know how terribly he suffered. He kept it such a secret.”

She says that training has been particularly difficult due to the rain, snow and slush and the cancellation of the Reading Half Marathon.

Visit to donate.

Christian Smith and Rob Jones

A Maidenhead United midfielder and the club’s physio are both taking part in the London Marathon, leading to the some competitive banter.

Christian Smith (pictured in action for the Magpies) has helped his side secure a place next season in the National League but has fitted his training around his team’s fixtures to run in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Fellow players have giving him their backing.

“All the boys have donated,” he said.

First-team physio Rob Jones, 23, will be raising money for Kith and Kids, which helps families of children with autism or learning disability.

It has naturally led to rivalry between the two – and Christian was in no doubt that he would come out on top.

“There is only going to be one winner, isn’t there?” he said.

That was disputed by Rob. “He has been saying that for a while and in reality he should beat me being a footballer but I am quite confident that my training has been better than his,” he said.

Visit to donate to Rob’s page and to support Christian.

Clare MacMillan

A five-year-old girl’s memory will be honoured by her aunt Clare MacMillan who is raising money for a deaf-blind charity.

Sara MacMillan had Dandy-Walker syndrome and suffered from epilepsy, cortical vision impairment, hip dysplasia and scoliosis and died in 2016.

She was helped by Sense, which her Clare wants to support.

Maidenhead resident Clare, 24, a compliance officer at health company Juice Plus, said: “I’ve mostly followed the official training thing. It has been hard. It has taken a lot of dedication.”

Her preparation has included going without alcohol this year, despite social engagements.

“I just got back from a hen do,” she said. “That wasn’t the best plan.”

Her online donation page states: “Our family will be forever grateful to Sense for providing us with the help and support that we greatly needed when having a child with such complex needs, and for providing Sara with the utmost care and dedication that helped her to enjoy her little life to the fullest.”

Visit to donate.

Amanda Keen

Amanda Keen is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of mum Karen and aunt Annette, who died of the disease.

The 24-year-old mechanic, who lives in Maidenhead and works in Beaconsfield, is a mem-ber of Burnham Joggers and has spent 18 weeks preparing for the race, her first go at the event.

“I am really excited to be running my first London marathon, and my third overall, having run at Brighton and Dublin last year,” she said.

Amanda has smashed her target of £2,500 but donations can be made at

Amanda Sears

Account-ant Amanda Sears, 31, is hoping to complete the marathon despite suffering a torn calf muscle during a 20-mile training run three weeks ago.

Amanda, who grew up near Boulters Lock but now lives in London, is raising money for dementia charity Remembering Not To Forget.

To support Amanda, visit

Neil and Maddy Rogers

A stroke survivor will be running the London Marathon with his daughter two years after he was hospitalised.

Neil Rogers, 59, who lives near Winter Hill, was taken to hospital when he suffered a stroke at his dinner table.

Now, two years later, he is set to raise £5,000 for the Stroke Association as he runs the marathon with his daughter Maddy.

He said: “Doing the marathon with my daughter is absolutely fantastic.

“I’ve wanted to do it for ages but when you’re busy working you just never get around to it.

“The trouble is that training was throughout the winter, so I’ve been running up Winter Hill with four layers on in minus temperatures.”

To sponsor Neil and Maddy visit:

Tony Clish and Abi Ross

Tony Clish said it was ‘part madness’ that drove him to attempt another marathon.

The 56-year-old commercial director,  from Littleworth Common, is a member of Burnham Joggers and has run the London Marathon before.

He has ambition to run the ‘big six’ marathons all over the world.

“It gives you a real buzz and running with other people gives you a lift,” said Tony.

“Once you have done one you want to do it again, and being part of a major sporting event is just amazing.”

Tony is raising money for the Orchard Vale Trust, a charity that helps children born with learning difficulties and their families.

He is running the marathon with another Burnham Joggers member, Abi Ross.

To donate visit

Lucy Smith

The encouraging words of a Maidenhead runner’s late father have proved a source of inspiration during training.

Lucy Smith decided to take on the gruelling challenge in memory of her father Peter Hester, from Slough, who died in February last year.

Nurses from Rennie Grove Hospice Care helped support Peter and his family throughout his illness and Lucy has chosen to raise money in aid of the charity.

She said: “For those left behind, the bewilderment of the days following the death of a loved one can be overwhelming.

“Rennie Grove nurses are an invaluable source of support at a time when families need it most.”

She added: “I spent a lot of time thinking about what it was that had made him such a force of nature, and one of those things that jumped out at me was that he had always believed that we could do anything, pro-vided we were prepared to put in the hard work.”

Visit to sponsor Lucy.


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