Marathon effort for African village

The three runners
The three runners

THREE Eastbourne runners have been pounding the streets of Brighton to raise cash for children 4,000 miles away in Uganda.

The trio – Simon Lade, Adam Mansbridge and Ollie Briggs – competed in the Brighton Marathon earlier this month. Together they look set to raise more than £1,000 for the Hailsham-based Quicken Trust which is helping to transform the lives of hundreds of children and their families in the poverty-stricken village of Kabubbu.

Adam already sponsors a nine-year-old boy called Godfrey who attends the primary school in Kabubbu. The money he raises from the marathon will go towards the charity’s School Meal Appeal which provides meals for youngsters at the school who don’t yet have sponsors in the UK.

It was Adam’s third marathon and beating his target of running in under four hours made it a particularly memorable day.

“I went off a bit fast at the start or I might have done an even better time,” he said. “The crowd at the end were unbelievable – cheering us home especially over the last three miles and along the seafront.”

Keen runner Simon, from Langney, was competing in his third Brighton marathon and was on course for his best time at the half way stage.

“I did it in three hours, nine minutes last year and was feeling really good until about 18 miles in. Then my knee just went. I had to stop and get it strapped and ended up finishing in around three and half hours. It was really disappointing.”

Simon – a manager at Asset Products in Hampden Park – is a long-time supporter of Quicken Trust. Like Adam, he’s hoping to raise at least £500.

“Quicken is a great cause and I know it has changed the lives of a lot of people. And the people sponsoring me have been really supportive – especially my friends at St Luke’s Church at Stone Cross, who have been brilliant.”

Quicken founder, Geoff Booker, paid tribute to the runners.

“We really appreciate the fantastic effort Adam, Simon and Ollie made – not just on the day but in the hours of training that went into getting ready to take part,” he said. “The money they raise will make a huge difference. For those families whose children don’t have a sponsor, it can be a struggle to pay the school fees. That can mean there’s very little left over for food. The School Meal Appeal means those youngsters get good meals during the time they are at school. It doesn’t cost us much – but it makes an enormous difference to them and their families.”

With two other Sussex-based runners competing in the London Marathon to raise money for Quicken, the charity looks on course for a bumper April.