Eastbourne woman completes London Marathon - and gets married along the way

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An Eastbourne woman crossed the London Marathon finish line as a newlywed after tying the knot with her partner halfway round.

Laura Harvey, 34, and Paul Elliott, 41, took part in the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, April 26 for Cancer Research UK – the event’s official charity partner.

Paul Elliott and Laura Harvey tied the knot during the London Marathon. Photo by Scott Heavey. SUS-150428-102849001

Paul Elliott and Laura Harvey tied the knot during the London Marathon. Photo by Scott Heavey. SUS-150428-102849001

And they decided to make it even more of a day to remember by getting hitched at mile 13 in honour of Paul’s dad Mark, who died from bowel cancer in December 1995.

Paul carried Laura across the finish line after completing the event in six hours and 22 minutes, including exchanging their wedding vows.

Laura grew up in Eastbourne but now lives with Paul in Clapham Old Town, working as a physiotherapist at Whittington Hospital. She said, “It has been an absolutely incredible day, the atmosphere has been electric and to be able to share it all with our family and friends has made it really special.

“We’ve done so much training together that I found running the first half on my own a bit strange but it made our reunion even more meaningful. The last leg was definitely tough but I think we were both so euphoric and had such great support from the crowds that we were carried round.”

The last few miles were tough going but having my wife by my side certainly helped

Paul, the bridegroom

Paul, an HR advisor at Imperial College London, said, “It has been such an emotional day and I’m overjoyed to be married to Laura.

“The last few miles were tough going but having my wife by my side certainly helped. We’ve managed to raise more than £5,000 for Cancer Research UK in memory of my dad so hopefully we’ve made him really proud.”

Laura and Paul ran the first half of the marathon separately before meeting half way round at St Katherine’s Dock for the ceremony, which was witnessed by 80 guests. They then completed the run together. After a wash, brush up and outfit change they returned to the venue for their evening reception.

For the marathon, the pair wore specially crafted outfits handmade by the bride and her mum which combined traditional wedding attire with a more practical and comfortable design and materials suitable for running.

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The couple plan to spend three days recovering at a hotel in Brighton – complete with hot tub to ease any aches and pains – before jetting off to The Bahamas on Sunday.

A field of over 40,000 competitors, including serious and fun runners took part in the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon.

As official charity partner, Cancer Research UK is on target to raise more than £2.5 million. The money raised will help build the Francis Crick Institute; a pioneering research centre that will help the charity to make rapid progress in understanding a range of diseases.

Helen Jackson, Cancer Research UK’s head of sports, said, “It’s thanks to the incredible support of people like Laura and Paul that Cancer Research UK’s doctors, nurses and scientists are able to go on making progress in the fight against cancer.”

To support Laura and Paul, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/londonmarathonwedding.

For more information on all Cancer Research UK’s running events, visit www.cruk.org/support-us/find-an-event.