Worthing runner finally completes first marathon after cancellation disappointments

Keen Worthing runner Matthew Brunton has finally completed his first marathon but sadly, it was nothing like he had hoped.

There were no cheering crowds, no supporters at all in fact, and the route was 11 times round the same circuit rather than the seafront spectacle of the Brighton Marathon.

Nevertheless, Matthew, 38, is grateful to have been able to achieve his dream of running his first marathon for Care For Veterans in honour of his nan, Kathleen Brunton.

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He has been an avid runner since secondary school but it is only in the past few years that he has taken it more seriously. He signed up for this year’s Brighton Marathon and began training in earnest last September.

Matthew was running for Care For Veterans in honour of his nan

Matthew said: “It was supposed to be April and then September. Obviously understandable, both were cancelled but it was so hard going through the disappointment each time.”

Matthew explained: “After getting such a good time, I felt really positive and thinking I was improving all the time.”

Nathan Gale, Matthew’s boss at Gardner & Scardifield in Lancing, has been helping him with his training, being an experienced marathon runner.

Matthew Brunton was able to run his first marathon at Running GP, an organised event at Goodwood Motor Circuit

The ups and downs have been hard and there was further disappointment when the Brighton Marathon live event, called The Edit, that was due to take place on Sunday was also cancelled.

Luckily, Matthew was able to run his first marathon at Running GP, an organised event at Goodwood Motor Circuit on Sunday, September 27, and he did it in 3 hours 50 minuites.

He said: “It was a relief it went ahead but with no spectators and running 11 times round the track wasn’t the easiest. But I managed to raise more than £240 for Care for Veterans in memory of our nan and it was a nice experience.

“It was the only place that seemed to have an organised event. It was quite good but you were only allowed to turn up, do the race and go home. You came to the finish and there was no-one really there and you are thinking ‘I have put all my effort into this’ but I was just happy to do a marathon this year.

“I had a picture of my nan on my back and that got me through, thinking she was having a little adventure.”

It has been a long journey, paying tribute to his nan, who was a supporter of the Worthing-based charity Care for Veterans.

Matthew said: “Care for Veterans is a superb charity and I have run for them quite a few times as they are close to my heart as well. Gramps was in the RAF during the war, along with all the brave men and woman who have and are serving for our country.”

Matthew still hopes to run a second marathon this year and he has deferred his Brighton Marathon place to 2021. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/matthew-brunton4 for more information and to make a donation.

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