A team of 14 runners braved the wind and rain to take part in this year’s London Marathon for the 999 Club.
The intrepid group has raised nearly £9,000 so far for the South London homelessness charity, through online donations as well as bake sales and community craft events.
One of the runners, Emily Grenville-Grey, organised a weekend of popular craft workshops in Deptford to help her exceed her fundraising target.
Her Marathon run followed just weeks after she ran the Big Half half-marathon, also for the 999 Club. This was the biggest ever group running for the charity.
Eight members of the team took part through places with Lewisham council and pledged their fundraising proceeds to the 999 Club, as the Mayor of Lewisham’s charity for 2019-20.
999 Club volunteer Lucinda Tattersall, described her first London Marathon as “amazing”, after she completed the event in four hours 9 minutes and 21 seconds.
The 27-year-old public relations manager said: “The day was fab, a real emotional roller-coaster. Every cheer spurred me on. I didn’t stop once apart from a toilet stop at mile 10 so I was really pleased.
“My friends surprised me at mile 22 with a huge banner which was amazing and really spurred me on the last few miles. We all went for drinks afterwards in Greenwich and I felt very floaty and happy.”
This was a first marathon for town planner Maeve Wylie, 28 who volunteers regularly at the 999 Club’s Night Shelter – she finished the event in four hours 22 minutes 54 minutes.
She said: “I loved every minute of running in the London Marathon. The crowd was so amazing throughout and any time I felt like I was struggling I moved myself out to the side, close to the supporters to keep me going.
“Turning the corner at Buckingham Palace to see the finish line felt incredible. I would definitely recommend anyone thinking of running in the London Marathon to do it.
“Throughout my whole training I couldn’t wait until the marathon was over and now I want to do another one.”
Chris Powell followed in the footsteps of his brother, who ran the London Marathon for the 999 Club last year. Despite it only being the second marathon for the 33-year-old web developer, Chris finished in a speedy three hours 13 minutes.
He said: “It was a really lovely day. Some of the best parts of it were the sections running through South London – the number of families out there really lifts it and it took my mind off what I was doing.
“Everybody was so positive all the way round the course – the atmosphere was fantastic. “My wife and daughter, grandparents and my brother Nick, who ran the marathon last year for 999 Club, were all there.
“The last six miles were really difficult – your brain is telling you stop, but you just dig in and focus on keeping going.
“Having said all that, I would definitely do it again, in fact I’ve put my name down for the ballot for next year. “The first 18 miles were really strong but then a few holes in my training came through.”
If you would like to run for Team 999 Club in 2020, email Justine@999club.org.
To make a donation to empower a person who has experienced homelessness to turn around their life, go to https://999club.org/make-a-donation/
The 999 Club has a 26-year history of working with the homelessness, offering a warm welcome for people who are often ignored, isolated or stigmatised.