Marathon effort by Rugby runners

Marathon runner Gary Masters
Marathon runner Gary Masters

A handful of super-fit Rugbeians raised thousands for charity last weekend after running the Virgin London Marathon.

Among them were Chandima Nethisinghe from Dunchurch, who raised over £2,600 for Shaftsbury Young People, Rachel Oliverio, a mother of two who lives in Clifton Road, who raised £583 for Action for Children, and Rob Mackenzie, who ran for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Carol Mansell, 55, ran for Micro Anophthalmic Children’s Society (Macs), as did Gary Masters, while Daniel O’Tool ran for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Graham Berridge for children’s charity Starlight.

Gary, who completed the marathon in 4 hours 36 minutes, said it was the second marathon he’d run and that the atmosphere around the course was “electric”.

“I think because of what happened in Boston people were even more determined to get on the streets and cheer the runners on. The atmosphere was electric and everywhere you looked people were cheering and having fun, people seemed much more vocal and into it than last year,” he said.

Gary managed to raise well over £1,000 with donations still coming in. He added: “The best part for me was probably going over Tower Bridge – that was where the cheering was the loudest. The most difficult part for me was the last mile, but it didn’t faze me – I knew I just had to keep on going.”

Daniel O’Tool, 23, added: “It was amazing – it was probably the best experience of my life. The atmosphere and support everyone got was incredible. I ended raising over £5,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.”