Valley runners beat the heat!

Donna Bibby delighted after finishing her ninth marathon. (s)
Donna Bibby delighted after finishing her ninth marathon. (s)
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It was the hottest London Marathon on record, but that didn’t deter two Ribble Valley women from pounding the streets of the capital for charity.

Donna Bibby and Helen Vickery joined thousands of runners on Sunday as they completed the 26.2-mile race in sweltering heat.

Helen Vickery proudly shows off her medal

Helen Vickery proudly shows off her medal

For 40-year-old Whalley woman Donna, this was her ninth London Marathon in aid of national disability charity, Sense, and it seems she is determined to carry on running!

She said: “I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was the hottest on record reaching a whopping 26-27 degrees in some sections. I lost salt rapidly and struggled with cramp. It was my slowest run ever, but in such conditions when almost 1,000 runners dropped out, I feel proud to have finished. My finishing time was 6 hours and 10 minutes. The crowds were amazing and my partner, Will, kept me going along what felt to be a gruelling day. Just need to enter the ballot for 2019 now!”

Meanwhile, chartered surveyor Helen Vickery finished the race in five hours and 55 minutes raising £2,200 for Bliss (For babies born premature or sick) in honour of her niece, Heidi, who was born six weeks early.

Helen (30) said: “I picked up an injury six weeks ago, which meant that training stopped and I couldn’t run until Sunday.

“The day was amazing more special than I ever imagined. The last five months and in particular the last six weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster, full of self doubt and pain. As soon I crossed the start line and heard the crowds shout my name, I knew it was going to be special. “I thoroughly enjoyed ever minute and what an honour to be a runner in the hottest London Marathon ever, constantly pouring water over my head and body to stay cool and hydrated. I would like to thank all my family especially my mum, dad, Robert, Laura, Heidi and Amber and friends in particular Carrie for their love, support and generosity in sponsorship. Also, Nicola Dinsdale at NJD sports physio who made it possible for me to be on the start line.”