Stephen runs virtual London Marathon

Who needs London when you’ve got Alexandra Park!

People running in a park

Stephen Bradley runs a virtual London Marathon to raise money for Francis House.

Stephen Bradley ran his first marathon in Boston in 1984 aged 27. His time of 2 hours, 37 minutes and 44 seconds meant that he achieved a “good for age” category and gained himself a place in the London Marathon in 1985.

Fast-forward 35 years and although disappointed not to have been able to travel to London – due to the coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of the mass participation event – Stephen, now 62, achieved his ambition of running the 40th Virgin London Marathon virtually in Alexander Park in Whalley Range to raise funds for Francis House.

On a sunny Sunday morning on October 4 and supported by family and friends he ran twenty-six laps of a mile each around the park that he played in as a child.

People standing in a line

His friend Will Shanley accompanied him for five miles when at approximately nine miles into his run an earlier calf injury began to slow his progress. Like a scene from the film Forrest Gump, onlookers and joggers began shouting and cheering encouragement which kept him going for the full 26.2 miles.

Running alongside Stephen for the final 10k were his nieces Nicola and Donna, and despite the injury he completed the race in 4 hours and 43 minutes.

“I have supported Francis House from the very beginning, alongside Sister Aloysius, and I'm a great believer in the work they do. The charity does wonderful work for local families and I'm proud to be raising money for them again.”

Stephen Bradley

Stephen raised more than £3,000 including gift aid and hopes to take part in the Virgin London Marathon in 2021.

Thank you Stephen for your incredible efforts and for raising such a fantastic amount!

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