Over 35,000 runners took part in this year's Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, alongside celebrities like Paula Radcliffe, Jenson Button and rowing Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell.

We caught up with some of the South Bucks runners who completed the gruelling 26.2 mile race in aid of charity. 


David Walker

Keen runner David Walker ran his 35th London Marathon this year.

The 69-year-old has run the London Marathon every year since it started in 1981 and crossed the finish line with a time of six hours, 12 minutes and 31 seconds.  

Bucks Free Press:

David Walker pictured with his medals in 2014

The Chiltern Harriers runner is part of a group called Ever Present, all of the members have run every year since the inaugural race.

He said: “It was my slowest run yet. I’m not really sure why, probably because I’m getting older.

“We all still really enjoy it. We’re down to just 12 Ever Present runners and I think we’ll carry on as long as we can.”


Sarah Parfitt

Cookham Running Club member, Sarah Parfitt almost couldn’t take part in Sunday’s marathon after receiving devastating news.

Her surgeon advised that due to a knee injury, she should stop running for good and Sarah, who has run 13 marathons, agonised over whether to continue with her training.

After much deliberation, she decided to go ahead with the marathon and managed to jog the 26.2 miles in four hours and 21 minutes.

Bucks Free Press:

Sarah Parfitt before completing this year's race

Writing on her blog, The Diary of a Marathon Mum, she said: “I was swept around by the atmosphere and the live music. I absolutely loved it! For the first time ever, I ditched my walkman and was energised by the crowds and the sound of thousands of feet pounding the streets of London.”

So far, Sarah has raised £2,733 for Partners for Change Ethiopia, which will fund a Breakfast Club and playground at Gende Tesfa school.


Claire Germain

Months of training paid off for Claire Germain, who works for JNP Estate Agents in High Wycombe, after crossing the line in four hours, 46 minutes and four seconds this Sunday.

Claire ran the marathon in aid of Tommy's, a research centre at St Thomas's Hospital which looks into premature births and miscarriages and has raised over £3000 so far.

Bucks Free Press:

Claire after crossing the finish line

Claire said: “It was incredible! Such a wonderful experience and the training paid off as I ran the whole way and didn't hit the wall at all. The last four miles were such a buzz - the support was incredible from the crowds.

“The whole experience was surreal as months of prep culminated in one day - so memorable.”


Mark Hill

An accountant from Chalfont St Giles took on the challenge of the London Marathon just two weeks after running his first ever marathon in Brighton.

Mark Hill crossed the London finish line in four hours and 33 seconds despite losing three toenails and having post-marathon acupuncture on his knee after finishing the race in Brighton.

Bucks Free Press:

Mark Hill with his medal

The 34-year-old decided to run in aid of the British Skin Foundation after his mum suffered with the disease and has raised £2780 so far, beating his target of £1000.

Mark said: “Death to toes, all in the name of charity! It was a pleasure to run for the British Skin Foundation, really enjoyed it."


Teresa Pawlik

Teresa Pawlik took on a massive task running her first ever marathon on Sunday.

Teresa, a finance director from Prestwood, finished the race in four hours, 18 minutes and 28 seconds.

Bucks Free Press:

Teresa with her medal after the race

Teresa has raised over £2000 for the PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) Association after her mum suffered with the condition.

She said: “It was absolutely amazing, I had a fantastic time and the support from everybody was incredible.

“It’s something I've always wanted to do and I turned 40 this year so I thought, what better time to do it?”


Derek Vere

London marathon veteran, Derek Vere ran his 21st and final race on Sunday.

Derek, MD of Verco Office Furniture in High Wycombe, completed his final marathon in just over seven hours and has raised almost £7000 for charity.

Bucks Free Press:

Derek Vere took on his final London Marathon

The runner supported a project by Rope, a Christian international development charity based in Amersham, which supports vulnerable people in Ukraine who are in desperate need of food and medical care for themselves and their families.

Derek said: “Verco has always supported local charities over the years and one of the ways is by encouraging staff to run in the London Marathon. I felt that this year I wanted to have one more go to reach 21, before I hang up my running shoes for good.”

Derek ran his first marathon in 1988, then again in 1990 and in every race from 1992 to 2009.

Ill health meant he couldn’t run in 2012, so this year has been even more special for Derek.

He said: “I promised everyone that I would complete it however long it took - as they say slow and sure always wins the race.

“The London Marathon has been one of the best events I have attended and I count myself blessed to have had the opportunity to take part so many times.”


Felipe Hernandez

Over 40 people ran the marathon in aid of Child Bereavement UK, based in Saunderton.

Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.

Felipe Hernandez, from Aylesbury, who has raised just over £4,000 so far, was running in memory of his 21-year-old nephew, Justin, who died of cancer earlier this year.

Bucks Free Press:

Felipe Hernandez has raised over £4000 for Child Bereavement UK so far

He said: “My nephew’s parents are fortunate to come from a big, close-knit family and thus received a lot of support to overcome the grief of losing someone at such a young age. 

“I am, however, very aware that most parents that go through such a loss are not as lucky. Child Bereavement UK provides the support needed.”