Twelve members of DK Running Club, who were due to take part in this year’s London Marathon until it was called off due to Covid-19, recently ran the marathon distance around south Staffordshire instead.
The 40th London Marathon was due to take place on 26 April but was pushed back to 4 October as the UK went into lockdown and was restricted to elite athletes.
The marathon organisers challenged the 45,000 runners who had secured a place to run a socially distanced virtual London Marathon close to their homes on the same day instead.
Not wanting to waste the months of training that went into getting them ready for the start line in London, the DK runners decided to make the most of the scenic countryside around their Wall Heath-based HQ.
Taking part were Claire Hancox, Kathryn Purslow, Sharon Lowe, Julie Pearson, Malcolm Beddall, Matt Queen, Dirk Baynham, Jan Burbie, Lisa Mason and Dave Fennell.
Fellow DK members Dave Hickman and Kevin Herbert also ran the virtual London Marathon but not from the club.
A 26.2 mile course was carefully mapped out which took the runners along the route of the club’s 10K annual race then on to the South Staffordshire canal path to The Anchor at Caunsall.
They returned to the club by the same route where they were welcomed back by fellow DK members, friends and families, all maintaining social distance, and cake!
Several DK members ran with the marathon runners for stages along the route, encouraging them every step of the way.
One DK member, Farrah Coley-Hunter, did not enter the London Marathon but still ran the entire 26.2 mile distance, supporting her fellow Hoops.
The marathon runners raised thousands of pounds for the British Heart Foundation, Mind, Acorns Children’s Hospice, Action Heart and Scope.
The runners logged their progress on an app to make their times official and secure their medals.