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Three runners defying coronavirus for charity



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Three runners are organising their own marathons for charity after the originally planned ones were postponed due to coronavirus.

Chris Ashworth, 39, from Bury St Edmunds, was due to run the 40th London Marathon on April 26, on what would have been his 40th birthday, and Gemma Reid, 48, and her partner Martin Pearson, 51, from Great Barton, were planning on running the Brighton Marathon on April 19.

Both races have been postponed until later this year because of Covid-19.

Chris said it meant the world to him to raise money through the memory of someone who was a great husband and father.
Chris said it meant the world to him to raise money through the memory of someone who was a great husband and father.

But all three have decided they do not want to waste their training and plan their own runs in the next couple of months.

Chris came up with the idea to do his in and around Bury St Edmunds, and received over 70 likes on a Facebook post about it.

“The response on social media has been amazing with friends and strangers all offering to join me for parts of the run, or set up water stations along the route.

The London Marathon has been postponed until Sunday, October 4. (32047390)
The London Marathon has been postponed until Sunday, October 4. (32047390)

“I was planning on running the route on my own but it seems like I may be getting some company.”

Chris is raising money for Pancreatic Cancer UK, after the death of his father-in-law last year.

He still wants to run the London Marathon, and even though he cannot this year because the new proposed date overlaps with his wedding in Mauritius, he has requested to defer his entry for next year.

Gemma and Martin, will be running around the Great Barton area, in what is their first marathon.

Gemma, who has worked as a veterinary nurse since she was around 21, has adopted chickens from the British Hen Welfare Trust in the past.
Gemma, who has worked as a veterinary nurse since she was around 21, has adopted chickens from the British Hen Welfare Trust in the past.

They are raising money for the British Hen Welfare Trust, a national charity that re-homes commercial laying hens and encourages support for British free range eggs.

Gemma said: “We’ve done all this training, through all the horrible months. If we can stay healthy until April lets just go ahead and do it.”

You can donate to the runners on their Just Giving pages: justgiving.com/fundraising/virginmoneylondonmarathon20202-chrisashworth and https://www.justgiving.com/account/your-pages/Gemma-Reid5