Members of the British Racing Drivers’ Club have raised more than £85,000 for a children’s cancer charity by taking on the ultimate endurance challenge – running the London Marathon at the weekend.
The club fielded 14 entrants – drivers Andy Priaulx, Oliver Gavin, Darren Turner, Jonny Kane, Johnny Mowlem, Guy Smith, Charlie Hollings, Rob Barff, Richard Westbrook, Peter Dumbreck, Marino Franchitti, Stuart Hall and Marc Hynes plus BRDC Club Secretary Stuart Pringle.
Some circumvented flight restrictions caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruptions to reach the UK. Sean Edwards was due to run but was unable to attend the event due to racing commitments in Germany. The club says he intends to set a date on his return to run his own marathon.
The idea, suggested by Gavin at the BRDC Awards Lunch last autumn, was developed into a fundraiser for the CLIC Sargent charity which provides medical, practical and emotional support to children and young people suffering from cancer and leukaemia, as well as their families.
A target of £50,000 was set prior to a charity lunch at Plaisterers’ Hall, London on Friday, featuring BBC Formula One presenter Jake Humphrey, leaving the team £35,000 better-off towards their target.
The runners had raised a further £40,000 on their JustGiving page which has, at time of writing, swelled by a further £10,000.
Two experienced runners, Gavin and Hall, both managed impressive sub-three hour times while Kane achieved the same feat on his marathon debut.
Gavin said after the race: “I’m so delighted with my time today. I never thought I’d get under 2:55, so to beat that was the icing on the cake, especially after the week I’ve had.
“Everyone on the BRDC team has done really well, I’m thrilled we’ve managed to raise so much money for CLIC Sargent.”
Turner added: “I managed to get a blister just three miles into the run. It wasn’t just any old blister either as it even made the medic I saw afterwards wince.
“To start with I ignored it and kept going but at the 15-mile mark I was seriously considering calling it a day. Luckily Oliver Gavin had given me a bit of a heads up and suggested I take something with me to fix blisters, effectively a puncture repair kit for humans.
“I was starting to get pain all over the place as I wasn’t putting weight on my foot properly so I stopped, patched myself up, and managed to make it to the end somehow.”
• It’s not too late to donate! If you would like to help the team boost its total further, visit its JustGiving page.