SWINDON runners took to the streets of the capital and raised thousands for good causes when the London Marathon returned on Sunday. 

Whether they were running for themselves or tackling the iconic 26.2-mile route for charity, many of them shared their stories with the Adver after crossing the finish line.

Ryan Withers, 28, from Lydiard Millicent, ran the race in 5hrs 21mins with his partner Rachel and little girl Ella cheering him on. 
He raised £1,500 for Fibromyalgia UK as his mother suffers from the condition, which he says doesn’t receive a lot of financial support. 

“We visited Ryan at mile seven, 18 and 21 and at the finish line,” said Rachel. “It was an amazing achievement.

“Our little girl Ella was his biggest fan going round watching daddy run, we are all very proud of him.”

Chelle White, 49, from North Swindon clocked 3hrs 16mins 32secs. 
“I always run for local charity Doing it For Dan,” she said. “They’re an amazing local charity doing so much to help and encourage our children to take part in sport and to fulfil their full potential.

Matt Hillyard came in with a time of 3hrs 32mins – well within his target

The 42-year-old from Haydon Wick has been running for many years but never attempted a full marathon. 

He said: “I ran to raise money for the National Autistic Society as it’s a cause that’s close to me and my family, my three children are all on the autistic spectrum.”

He raised £1,327.85 for the charity. 

Scott Ellis, 31, from Haydon Wick, and Dannielle Maundrell, 30, from Upper Stratton, ran the marathon together. The pair raised money for Wellchild and Winston’s Wish and had a great time. 

“The marathon itself was an unreal experience being cheered on at every mile, the wall of noise crossing Tower Bridge and the final three miles to the finish,” Scott said.

“After the last 18 months it was overwhelming to see so many people come together both to run and support.” Dannielle added. 

Lydiard Park Academy teacher Harrison Batty ran the marathon on his 27th birthday, raising more than £3,500 for Prostate Cancer UK. The day after, he was back in the classroom.

“The support from the school and my students has been incredible,” he said. 

Rachell Bendell from Old Town and Amy Cameron from West Swindon ran together.

Amy ran in memory of ‘Grampy Garrett,’ father to her sister-in-law Emma, to say thank you to the Prospect Hospice for the care their family received.

Louise Muir Sage, 40, from Freshbrook ran for Kidney Research UK after someone close went through kidney failure, raising £3,508 for the charity 

“Emotionally and mentally it was the biggest challenge of my life, the training becomes consuming and the actual marathon is almost like a victory lap.” she said. 

Louise Huskinson from Ferndale wanted to run the marathon to challenge herself.

“Social anxiety can hold me back from so many things but I did it, and I’m still baffled a  day later! I’ve proved a lot to myself.” said the 40-year-old. 

Simon Vincent, 30, was running for Parkinson’s UK after watching his grandad become a ‘shadow of his former self’ because of the illness. 

He said: “I had to dig deep to find the energy to keep going and at times had to stop to stretch out the cramps and other aches and pains. In the end I finished with a time of 4:44:35.”

Single mum of three Janine Bowler, a keen runner, wanted to run the marathon again after a six-year break. 

“I raised money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance,” she said. “They are amazing.

“They receive no direct help from the government or lottery funding and have to raise £4 million next year to keep flying.

The 48-year-old from Old Town was thrilled to have raised £1,700 for the Semington-based charity on her virtual run as she came towards the town’s version of Tower Bridge, Swindon station.