Sunday, 26th April should have seen several WRP members lining up at the start of the Virgin Money London Marathon along with tens of thousands of others. The event may have been postponed but, undeterred, WRP decided to run our own alterative London Marathon through the streets of Penarth and beyond. With lockdown restrictions and limits to exercise in place we couldn’t run a whole marathon in one go so what’s the next best thing? A marathon relay!
Club members organised themselves in to teams to run ‘virtually’ through the London Marathon route with local landmarks standing in for Greenwich Park, the Thames, Royal Artillery Barracks, Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Canary Wharf, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and ﬁnishing in the Mall. All 26.2 miles!
Each team member ran, jogged or walked between 1 and 5 miles – at all times adhering to the rules about social distancing and staying close to home. Times for each leg were recorded with the finishing times for each team as follows:
Team 1: Family Fortunes 4 hours 23 minutes and 41 seconds
Team 2: Social Sole Sisters 4 hours 56 minutes and 21 seconds
Team 3: Lockdown Lovelies 4 hours 33 minutes and 11 seconds
Team 4: One for the Road 6 hours 38 minutes and 29 seconds
Team 5: Virtual Runners 4 hours 56 minutes and 50 seconds
Team 6: Miles Donated 4 hours 40 minutes and 12 seconds
It was a beautiful day as our runners and walkers took to the streets in Penarth, Cardiﬀ, Crickhowell, Cheltenham, Luton, and Bristol, taking selfies as they went. Most ran or walked solo but for some it was a family affair with husbands, partners, children (and dogs!) joining in. Several ex-members and friends of the club also took part. In all, over 90 people came together (metaphorically) to complete the challenge. Some clocked up a personal best time for a mile, others took it at a more leisurely pace. The runs took place at different times throughout the day – the earliest at 6.00am – but regardless of age, pace or time, everyone who took part had the same aim: to raise funds for Maggie’s Centre Cardiff.
Sadly, the husband of WRP member Alison J. passed away with cancer on 16th April. Alison was due to run in London and had already raised thousands of pounds for Maggie’s before the event was postponed. To show support for Alison and in memory of Dave, all participants in our virtual marathon relay pledged to donate a minimum of £1.00 for each mile they completed: £649.20 has been collected so far.
Dave was a huge fan of ska music so, as an extra tribute, lots of our runners completed their relay leg listening to a playlist of his favourite tracks. It was a beautiful day with a lot of very positive and emotional miles. There were some lovely signs made by family supporters, beautiful views, stunning spring flowers and, most of all, some great big smiles.
We’d like to say a massive ‘Thank you’ to everyone who took part.
If anyone would like to donate to Maggie’s, Alison has opened a donation page in memory of Dave.
The WRP26.2FORDAVE playlist can be found at https://spoti.fi/2yK6FcT
Below is a selection of selfies taken by our lovely runners during their runs. To see a gallery of our virtual run, head over to the WRP Facebook page.