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Grantham marathon heroes beat the heat to raise thousands for good causes

Stuart Pigram with daughter Emily
Stuart Pigram with daughter Emily

Runners from the Grantham area raised thousands of pounds for good causes when they took part in the hottest London Marathon on Sunday.

Among those who ran was a man who was diagnosed with a failing heart last year, another who dressed as superhero Deadpool and a father and son who ran for charity after a member of the family was diagnosed with cancer.

Jason Walker, as Deadpool, in the London Marathon 2018.
Jason Walker, as Deadpool, in the London Marathon 2018.

Grantham businessman Stuart Pigram took on his fifth London Marathon for the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) life saving research after he was told that his own heart was failing last year.

Stuart was 43 years old, fit and healthy when he went for a routine medical check-up in March 2017. But when the doctor measured his heart rate, his heart was working at 135 beats per minute (bpm), a normal heart rate being between 60 to 100bpm.

Stuart describes it as a ‘shutters down’ moment where he instantly knew something was seriously wrong, and he was rushed off to hospital. He went through various tests and was immediately given drugs to thin his blood.

Stuart said: “I was feeling completely fine. The day before I had even been for a five mile run without incident. I had no heart palpitations and no symptoms that I was ill in any way. Then here I was, rushed to hospital and having tests to establish what was going on with my heart. My partner Joanne was there with me in the hospital and was a great support. It was just such a shock for everyone.”

Unmasked: Jason Walker ran the London Marathon as Deadpool.
Unmasked: Jason Walker ran the London Marathon as Deadpool.

A few weeks later Stuart was told that his heart was failing. It was identified by doctors that his heart had damage but no-one, to this day, knows what had caused it.

Doctors needed to regulate Stuart’s heart rate in order for his heart to start functioning fully again.

Once his blood had been thinned using medication, Stuart had a cardioversion, where his heart was stopped and then restarted, to try and shock his heart into a normal rhythm, which worked in the short term, but the irregularity of the heart beat returned within weeks and he was referred to a consultant at Park Hospital, Nottingham.

In August last year he had a cardiac ablation, to burn off the tissue that was causing the irregularity which successfully reverted his heart into a normal heart rhythm and it has remained normal ever since.

Jenny Mattison completes the London Marathon 2018.
Jenny Mattison completes the London Marathon 2018.

Despite his medical state at the time, Stuart signed up to the London Marathon, determined to run it once again. With his consultant’s approval, Stuart ran the 2018 London Marathon on Sunday, his fifth and most meaningful yet.

Stuart joined around 400 runners who stood united in the fight against heart disease by running the marathon for the BHF and who will help the charity raise close to a million pounds towards pioneering heart research.

Despite the high temperatures of 24 degrees in London, Stuart managed to run the marathon in 4 hours 51 minutes.

Karen McDonnell, events manager at the BHF, added: “We are thrilled that Stuart chose to take on this legendary challenge for the BHF. Around 139,000 people are living with cardiovascular disease in Lincolnshire and the incredible £1,300 that Stuart has raised really will help us stop heart disease in its tracks.”

Sophia Tucker
Sophia Tucker

If you would like to donate to Stuart’s fund-raising, visit his fund-raising page at uk.virginmoneygiving.com

Nick Rossington and his son Charlie ran for CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity which was supportive of Nick’s daughter Alice who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and spent most of 2017 in Addenbrookes hospital, Cambridge.

Alice is now attending KGGS and is getting on well. Nick and Charlie have raised £11,200 so far. They completed the marathon together in 4 hours 6 minutes.

Nick said: “It was very hot and we decided to run round together and savour the atmosphere. There was incredible support for each other among the runners. We are really pleased with the money we have raised for CLIC Sargent. Alice is getting on really well and is enjoying life.”

To donate to Nick and Charlie go to www.justgiving.com

Jason Walker dressed as Deadpool for the run, but despite being a superhero he found it tough going. Jason said: “The marathon was extremely tough due to the record temperatures. The first half was on target for sub 4 hours, but due to the heat, and hydration levels, I was suffering with leg cramps from around mile 21, having to slow down and try to walk them off. Eventually, they eased off before the end, and I was able to get running again for the last mile or so, and finish with a sprint over the line.

Wayne Goodge
Wayne Goodge

“I didn’t hit my target time that I wanted, but it became about getting to the finish once my legs had gone. It was very difficult navigating the other runners throughout the course, and I managed a total distance of 26.68 miles instead of 26.2 miles! The crowds were amazing all the way around, and gave many cheers of support and high fives along the way.”

Jason has raised over £2,100 for Hospice UK so far. His donation page can be found at www.justgiving.com

Wayne Goodge, whose wife is living with a rare type of brain tumour, ran the marathon to raise funds for research into the disease.

Wayne, who lives and works in Grantham, was inspired to run for the charity Brain Tumour Research after his wife Clare, 48, was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma brain tumour in September 2015.

In January 2016, Clare underwent a 14-hour operation at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital to reduce the size of her tumour and has since received radiotherapy treatment. Although her tumour is much reduced in size and will be monitored at regular MRI scans, Clare is now completely deaf in her left ear and has some mobility problems on the left side of her body. Wayne, 36, said: “It was a tough race, but I’m so pleased that I was able to complete it. Having a brain tumour has changed Clare’s life and I’ve seen first-hand the effects this has had on her. I just kept thinking of her and all the thousands of other people that are diagnosed though little is still known about the disease. Just knowing I’ve raised over £3,000 so far for Brain Tumour Research is such a great feeling.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Wayne’s JustGiving page go to www.justgiving.com

Julie Gilbert and Rachel Pattison took their fund-raising for CLIC Sargent to more than £20,000 over the last four years. Julie said: “Rachel and I started and finished together, it was just the bit in between that didn’t quite go to plan. Unfortunately, Rachel was really quite poorly during the run so we made a decision around 17 miles that the only option to get her across the finish line safely was to walk. However, we made sure we ran those last couple of hundred metres down The Mall and crossed the finish line hand in hand.”

Jenny Mattison was running for Coeliac UK and has so far raised more than £1,300.

Jenny said: “I managed to run the marathon in that incredible heat. It was tough going at times, but I managed to complete it in 4 hours, 36 minutes and 30 seconds.”

To donate to Jenny go to www.justgiving.com

Sophia Tucker raised £1,450 for breast cancer charity Coppafeel. She ran the marathon in 3 hours 49 minutes and 9 seconds. She said: “Despite the heat it was a great race and atmosphere!”

Penny Hedley Lewis, president of the Red Cross in Lincolnshire, raised £1,300 for the charity. It was her 13th London Marathon and she aims to do it again next year when she will be 70 years of age. She ran with her daughter Melissa.

Rachel Pattison and Julie Gilbert wear their London Marathon medals with pride.
Rachel Pattison and Julie Gilbert wear their London Marathon medals with pride.
Penny Hedley Lewis and daughter Melissa with their London Marathon medals.
Penny Hedley Lewis and daughter Melissa with their London Marathon medals.


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