Local man wants to bring a bit of the London Marathon spirit to Kingsbridge

A local man is looking to bring a bit of the London Marathon spirit to Kingsbridge after the pandemic forced the event to be cancelled. 

Edd Roberts is raising money for Whizz Kidz


Edd Roberts has been training for more than a year to run the London Marathon and just as he thought all his hard work was going to pay off, it was cancelled (stupid coronavirus). 

So instead of letting it get him down, he is planning on running the marathon distance in and around Kingsbridge, and he wants to bring people along for the ride. 

Edd initially tried to enter the marathon through the ballot, when that failed he started to look at other avenues and eventually he came across the charity Whizz Kidz, which works to "transform the lives of disabled children across the UK, supporting them to become confident and independent young adults".

Edd explained: "They are a charity which is super close to my heart. They basically provide specialist wheelchairs and walkers for kids with disabilities to enable them to take part in sports. Helping them both physically and mentally to grow, excel and succeed. 

They basically provide specialist wheelchairs and walkers for kids with disabilities to enable them to take part in sports

"So I'm actually really happy that firstly I got turned down on the ballot because it's meant I can raise some money to help out these kids."

Edd Roberts wants to bring a bit of London Marathon spirit to Kingsbridge

Talking about why he wanted to run a marathon, because it is a pretty bonkers thing to want to do, Edd said: "I've always said I've wanted to do it. But I'd say that every year after watching it on the TV. Then in 2019 one of my best friends Leanne Bierton did it and she gave me that little shove to apply.

I literally haven't looked back since. I have certainly fallen in love with running

"I literally haven't looked back since. I have certainly fallen in love with running. I've never felt the way about any sport than I do about running. You do have good and bad days, as with any sport, that can really question why you do it but, there's no greater feeling than beating your personal best, or smashing a target you've set yourself. 

"I've set myself four goals over four distances and I've beaten two so far. But when I beat the targets I was literally smiling for weeks. It's not only beating the time, it's knowing that all that hard work you've put in for months on end has finally paid off."

Edd set about fundraising, which he admits can be "very daunting", but said he "basically became a pest". He said: "I work with some great and very generous guys on building sites who were actually more than happy to donate to the charity. I know it can sometimes be hard to ask people but I also believe that people are good and they are more than happy to help out. 

I work with some great and very generous guys on building sites who were more than happy to donate to the charity

"Especially when running a marathon because it is quite far and a big strain. It's not just the distance on the day it's the training that goes into it. 

"But I held a raffle and a quiz night at the Seven Stars in Kingsbridge, the team there were brilliant. Lauren and Shannon organised it amazingly for me and the place was jam packed. I was overwhelmed with the generosity from shops and businesses in and around Kingsbridge who donated prizes to the raffle and even people I know brought bottles of wine and chocolates for me to enter into it. 

"This is what I mean about how great people are and their random acts of kindness, it's truly amazing."

This is what I mean about how great people are and their random acts of kindness, it's truly amazing

Edd Roberts isn't going to let the London Marathon being cancelled get him down

However after all that work, the marathon has been cancelled. Edd said: "This year has been one to forget. As annoyed and gutted I am about London being cancelled it's the right decision. 

"The marathon is now being done virtually. Which basically means you run it wherever you want to. So on the 4th of October they have given all the participants 24 hours to complete it. This is obviously better than nothing. 

"I thought about what to do as I wanted to make it special and I've already run the marathon distance twice in and around Kingsbridge, so I wanted to make it different. 

"Since I started running I've realised that there is more to the sport than just moving your legs as fast as you can. Social media (although it can be terrible) is amazing for runners. I've got to know a whole running community all over the world. All with different stories - some stories you wouldn't believe. But it's amazing.

"So I wanted to bring people together with me on the 4th. I've invited a few people through Facebook and some other friendly faces around town that run to join in with me. I'll be doing a five-mile loop starting and ending at the Kingsbridge Information Centre. 

So I wanted to bring people together with me on the 4th...I'll be doing a five-mile loop starting and ending at the Kingsbridge Information Centre

"Whilst the majority of these people won't do the whole distance, they are just going to come along for the run. Some will just do one loop or two or even just a half. They'll be no pressure on speed as we will just stay as a group and have a fun run around Kingsbridge. 

"I may not be able to run in London but I'm hoping to bring some London marathon spirit and atmosphere to little old Kingsbridge."

So far, around 20-25 people are expected to join in, with a 9.45am meeting time to start at 10am on the 4th of October. "Anyone can join, the more the merrier. I literally cannot wait!" said Edd. 

Anyone can join, the more the merrier. I literally cannot wait!

Edd wanted to thank "everyone that's helped me and supported me through it", but the "biggest thanks" to all the companies and people who either donated to the raffle or donated to his fundraising page. 

He said: "I contacted a few companies that have given me a little bit extra that I'm going to have their logo on my vest. So big thanks to WM Construction, Another Level Scaffolding, K Watson Roofing, Howden Electrical Solutions, Start Point Flooring, Moyseys, Kingsbridge Hire Centre, Herring Shoes and John Cole Carpentry."

If you would like to donate to Whizz Kidz through Edd's fundraising, click HERE, and to learn more about the charity and the work they do, click HERE

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