Brighton Marathon, 14th April 2013

April 23, 2013

Meet our six heroes in green: Jim Watson, Jeremy Burke, Tom Morton, Neil Gunning, Fran Witt and Hayley Court, who took on the Brighton Marathon for Renewable World on 14th April. Between them they raised more than £2,300, for which we would like to thank them all very much indeed.

Runner: Tom Morton, 36. Night Editor, The News
Time: Three hours 50 minutes. Raised: £200 (still collecting)

Tom, who has run several marathons before, had joked 24 hours before the race began that the weather was so bad he was thinking of buying a boat. But having started the race under grey clouds, he completed it in blazing sunshine.

He said: ‘It was hard from mile 17 to mile 22, but I was uplifted by the improving weather and the tremendous support of the people of Brighton – particularly those who dished out jelly babies en route.

‘I’d heard about the work Renewable World does from a friend and I think the aims of the charity are great: to use sustainable energy to lift people out of poverty. So I wanted to raise some money to help them to do that.’

You can still donate at Tom's justgiving page.

Runner: Hayley Court, 27
Time: Five hours 29 minutes                                   Raised: (donation, as per her 27 run challenge)
Brighton was Hayley’s second marathon in just two weeks – and was the middle of a three marathon sequence, as she was scheduled to run the Manchester Marathon 14 days later.
She has undertaken a 27 run challenge – to run 27 distance events in the year of her 27th birthday. She said: ‘One of my friends said I should do 30 for my 30th year, but I thought as that would be significantly more than one per fortnight, I’d try a slightly less demanding sequence. Though only slightly. Brighton was the seventh, and the second-last marathon.’
Hayley picked up an injury after just five miles, but carried on and finished in five hours 29 minutes.
She said: ‘Both feet were swollen early on and remained so until the finish. It meant I finished a bit outside my expected time. So it was a long, and quite painful run. But it was mostly enjoyable, even so.
‘I didn’t know about Renewable World but a friend told me about them and I had a look after that. I was impressed by what they do. It’s important to help ensure people in remote parts of the world have energy, and to do so in sustainable ways, so I’m pleased to be making a donation from my 27 runs total to Renewable World.’

Runner: Fran Witt, 47. Communications and Engagement Manager, Renewable World
Time: Four hours 33 minutes Raised: £569

Brighton was Fran’s second marathon, and she finished in four hours 33 minutes, roared home by supporters including her children and other family members.

She said: ‘It was an incredible atmosphere, with amazing support from the people of Brighton, the Renewable World team and my family. I genuinely think the cheering and encouragement from the crowd was the only reason I got round the whole course.

‘It was a perfect day for running, and even the part of the course towards the power station, which is renowned to be a bit grim, was livened up by a band which cheered us up and really helped. It wasn’t as desolate as it could have been.

‘People were lovely. Lots came out of their houses and gave out cake and jelly babies. It was an amazing community experience. It made a great deal of difference and I hope they realise that.

‘I work for Renewable World. It’s a small charity achieving a great impact for very vulnerable people living in remote communities in different parts of the world.’

You can still visit Fran Witt's justgiving site.

Runner: Jim Watson, 42, Professor of Energy Policy, Research Director, UK Energy Research Centre, University of Sussex, and Trustee, Renewable World.
Time: Three hours four minutes Raised: (expected) over £500

Professor Watson proved there’s yet another string to his bow by racing home in a personal best time of just three hours four minutes – just 54 minutes behind the Marathon’s winner and new record holder Dominic Kangor.

He said: ‘The 2013 Brighton Marathon was a great experience for me – good weather, the support of a home crowd, running with team mates from local club Arena 80, and a personal best time .

‘As with all marathons, it was a tough race too of course. The last few miles were as painful as ever. But it was worth it – not only for the fast time and great atmosphere, but also because it gave me an opportunity to raise money for Renewable World.

‘As a Renewable World trustee, I've watched the charity grow first hand – from humble beginnings just 5 years ago to the thriving organisation of today. The renewable energy projects it supports are making a real difference to people's lives in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

‘Running the Brighton marathon enabled me to make a more practical contribution to Renewable World's work with some of the world's poorest communities.’

You can visit Jim Watson's justgiving site.

Runner: Jeremy Burke, 32, Finance Director, UK Green Investment Bank
Time: Three hours 32 minutes Raised: £844.59

Jeremy was already well into his marathon training when he decided to raise money for Renewable World.

He said: ‘It was a late decision to decide to get sponsored, so the interest from work colleagues is really to thank. It's quite amazing how much we raised so quickly and I think there's a bit more to come! As an employee of the UK Green Investment Bank, we very much recognise and appreciate the work you are doing,’

Jeremy came home in three hours 32 minutes – a very impressive time, though not, he says, a personal best.

He said: ‘It was a good run, though it’s hard to say what the highlights were: it’s surprising how little you notice or remember once you’ve finished!

‘Renewable World focuses on tackling poverty through renewable energy, which seems a fantastic way to approach alleviating poverty, increasing health outcomes and reducing dirty fuel usage.

‘I’m proud to have run for Renewable World, and pleased the money will go to alleviating poverty through sustainable energy. While the time wasn’t a PB, the fundraising effort certainly was!’

Jeremy Burke's justgiving site is here.