THE impact of coronavirus on businesses and sporting events has been immense – but for one local marathon enthusiast the pandemic has not broken her stride.
June Allingan, 77, of Moorside, had planned to take part in the 2020 London Marathon on Sunday, April 26 with her grandson Jake but it was postponed as a result of the virus.
And after organisers confirmed the restaging could not take place in its usual format, June did not hesitate to join 45,000 others in signing up for The 40th Race – Your Way.
Participants had 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds to run, jog or walk the 26.2-mile London Marathon on the course of their choice, anytime from 00:00 to 23:59:59 on Sunday, October 4.
June said: “It wasn’t difficult to understand why they postponed the event, with everything that’s going on, but it was very disappointing, nonetheless. I was more disappointed for Jake to be honest.
“It would’ve been his first London Marathon and he’s not sure if he will be able to defer his entry to next year but we both still took part in the virtual marathon.
“I was running the streets of Saddleworth in beautiful sunshine while Jake got the short straw of pounding the streets of London in a torrential downpour, but we both had a brilliant day.
“We had such wonderful support from our families, who joined us at various points along the way, reminiscing about loved ones while raising as much money as we could for great causes.
“I’m just glad all that training we did didn’t go to waste, and with all the money we’d already raised for our respective charities there was no question we wanted to still be involved.”
June and Jake’s fundraising efforts for Maggie’s Cancer Support Centre in Oldham and Mind have so far raised £1,000 and £2,000 respectively.
June continued: “Maggie’s is a charity very close to me, as Mind is to Jake, but first and foremost I was running for my husband Michael, who died in 2016.
“Lots of people who sponsored me did so in memory of someone they had lost over the years and I made sure to print all of those names on the t-shirt I wore when I ran.
“I think I can truly say this was my favourite Marathon; it’s probably the first and last time I’ve ever finished one in first place!
“I’d just like to thank everyone who has supported us and donated to our fundraising pages. They are still active and both Maggie’s and Mind are so very grateful for any contributions.”
To donate to June’s fundraiser for Maggie’s visit https://justgiving.com/fundraising/JuneAllingan9
To contribute to Jake’s fundraiser for Mind visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JakeAllingan