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Marathon runner raises thousands

A FROME man who conquered the London marathon, has raised over £2,500 for a charity close to his heart.

The charity Beating Bowel Cancer is particularly close to marathon runner Simon Keates, whose father Robin was diagnosed with bowel cancer in November 2010. Robin was given the all-clear last November but for Simon and his family the whole process was a “big shock and a very scary time.”

Simon decided to raise money for Beating Bowel Cancer as a way of saying thanks for the treatment his father received. Simon said, “Fortunately the cancer was caught at a relatively early stage and after nine months of chemotherapy, (which has been extremely tough for everyone) my dad thankfully got the all-clear last November. The treatment he received throughout the year was fantastic and I really wanted to say thank you. I decided that the best way to do this was to raise money for the ‘Beating Bowel Cancer’ charity.

“I had always wanted to run the London Marathon and I thought that this would be a great opportunity to raise awareness and support the charity. I was slightly nervous as I had never run 26.2 miles before. I didn’t sleep very well the night before; I think this was down to nerves. However, before I knew it I was in Greenwich Park ready to go. The atmosphere was electric and I couldn’t wait to get running. At 9.45 I was off and what an experience it was! Thankfully the sun had come out to watch, which brought an incredible amount of support. The streets were full of cheering people and it really gave you a boost! I was very focused on my pace and I found the first 16 miles very easy and enjoyable. It then started to get slightly tougher but I knew I had to dig deep. My parents and girlfriend were waiting for me at the 22nd mile which really drove me on.

“The last two miles were the hardest and I could feel my legs tiring. I knew though that if I stopped that I would have struggled to get going again, so I focused hard on the money I had raised to get me to the end. I finished the race in 3 hours 38 minutes and I was ecstatic about the time. I couldn’t feel my legs, but what a relief. It was such an amazing feeling that I had done it.

“The whole experience was incredible and was made so much easier by the support I got on the way. I can’t thank my amazing family and friends enough. I am currently on £2,601 which I am very proud of.”

You can still sponsor Simon by visiting