North Devon’s London Marathon entrants enjoy event in the capital.

PEOPLE from across North Devon have once again joined the more than 37,000 runners who took part in Sunday’s Virgin London Marathon.

Costumed fun runners, amateur athletes and just the plain determined lined up for the 32nd instalment of the iconic event, most bidding to raise money for a variety of good causes.

Taking part in the London Mini Marathon with her new racing wheelchair was 11-year-old Lydia Cross from Braunton, raising money on behalf of Help For Heroes plus the Wheelpower charity.

She finished in a time of just over 22 minutes, third in her class and 16th overall, so far collecting £2,300 for her charities.

Lydia and her parents had been waiting for her new racing chair to arrive:

“There was no time to practice until the starting line but she was very happy with it,” said dad Tony.

“Lydia had a fantastic time and completed it well under the time allowed. She was really proud of herself and happy to have taken part.”

As the only child patron for the Help For Heroes charity, after her own race Lydia headed for the 23 mile point and the H4H stand to help out and cheer on the 250 H4H runners taking part.

Donations can still be made at www.justgiving/Lydia-Cross.

BARNSTAPLE police constable Terry Hodgson entered the marathon for the first time to raise money for North Devon Hospice.

He completed the event in three hours 57 minutes and has vowed to return next year after being bowled over by the magnitude and atmosphere of the occasion.

“It was absolutely overwhelming, such an exciting and fantastic event – I can’t describe running through parliament Square, along Birdcage Walk and then up the Mall,” he said.

“I have watched every one since I was a kid, but to be there was amazing. I had a real sense of it being a precursor to the Olympics.”

The other side of the occasion was revealed to Terry as he ran past a runner being stretchered off after receiving treatment – later he discovered it was Leicestershire runner Claire Squires, aged 30, who collapsed and died a short way from the finish line.

To make donation’s for Terry’s charity North Devon Hospice go to: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/terryhodgson1

Barnstaple fire fighter Simon Overney completed the marathon in a time of four hours, 17 minutes and 59 seconds to raise money for the North Devon Chemotherapy Appeal.

People can still sponsor Simon by going to www.justgiving.com/simonoverney.

He would like to thank Dave and June Williams at St James Dairy, Mike and Team at Turton’s Butchers and Jon at The George and Dragon in Ilfracombe for their support.