Wealden three aim for tough test

Derek Mepham, London marathon runner

Derek Mepham, London marathon runner

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There are some touching stories driving the gruelling fitness regimes endured by two Heathfield men and an Uckfield woman who aim to run the London Marathon on Sunday.

Derek Mepham, 63, from Broad Oak , Julien Pursglove, 53, from Green Lanes and Kathy Gore from Framfield all plan to run the 26 mile race for charities close to their hearts.

Derek ran his first London Marathon and the New York Marathon in 1991 and then ran 10 London marathons for the Hospice in the Weald, raising more than £40,000.

He has also fundraised for Childline, Breast Cancer Awareness, the British Heart Foundation and MS. He carried the Olympic torch in Pevensey last summer.

Derek said: “It needed a great charity and great person to entice me and the blue Lycras out of retirement. So I sent my £10 entry fee and have been granted a place in the CLIC Sargent team.”

He explained Freya Voss, a neighbour’s daughter, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last February. She endured six months of chemo at the Royal Marsden Hospital where she found out about CLIC Sargent who proved a wonderful support to the family. To support Derek go to: www.bmycharity.com/derekmepham

Julien Pursglove trained as a master butcher and now works in Sainsbury’s London head office A keen clay pigeon shooter, he has previously raised money for charities in shooting competitions.

He said: “I’ve never run a full marathon before but I’m training hard.”

He’s running in aid of national charity the Starlight Children’s Foundation that grants wishes for children with serious and terminal illnesses and provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices.

Money he raises will go to grant the wish of Alex, eight, from Hailsham, who recently underwent a heart transplant. Alex’s great love in life is lemons. When he learnt lemons don’t grow here he decided his Starlight wish would be to go on holiday with his family to a hot place where they do grow. To support Julien visit: www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/EwesainBolts

Former High Sheriff of East Sussex and chair of Friends of East Sussex Hospices, Kathy Gore will run her third London Marathon. She said: “I aim to get round before the man in the heavy diving suit!”

She has already raised more than £28,000 for Friends of East Sussex Hospices and hopes to add to her total on Sunday. She is at present Deputy Lieutenant of the county. To sponsor her visit: www.justgiving.com/Kathy-Gore2