Olympic flame goes to Pevensey Bay

Derek Mepham
Derek Mepham
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THE Olympic flame will flare through the village of Pevensey Bay in the hands of a torchbearer who has raised thousands of pounds for a hospice.

Derek Mepham, aged 62, and a former project manager for BT, from Heathfield, was nominated by his wife Irene to carry the torch on July 17.

Mrs Mepham put forward her husband’s name because of the work he does in the local community, supporting the Hospice In The Weald near Tunbridge Wells.

Mr Mepham said: “I’ve done various things to raise funds for the hospice, including walking on hot coals and running 10 London marathons, raising over £40,000.

“I started running marathons at the age of 40.

“Ten years ago I also raced Colin Jackson to the top of the BT Tower by the stairs as a challenge and actually beat him by two minutes.”

Mr Mepham has also taken part in various races around the world.

He said: “I’ve raised money though running in international races, in cities including New York, Dubai and Auckland, for other charities including Action on Addiction, raising £1,100 as well as £1,400 for a well to be built in a village in Kenya.”

The Olympic torchbearer has raised an impressive total of £45,000 from his many running exploits in the past.

He added: “It’s an amazing honour to be able to carry the Olympic flame at this point in my life.

“But I think I may have to run it backwards - 300 metres will go by in a flash otherwise and I want to savour the experience.

“The lesson that life has taught me, that I would most like to pass on to others, is having the energy to give time to help others less fortunate than myself gives me great pleasure and is so worthwhile, bringing some relief to others whose lives have been changed forever.”