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Marathon triumph for fall guy

PUBLISHED: 12:13 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:40 23 August 2010

FIVE FINISH: Dartford  Harriers runners, from left, Richard Martin, Lisa Nichols, Sue Saheed, Alan Bungay and Ken Pickett.

FIVE FINISH: Dartford Harriers runners, from left, Richard Martin, Lisa Nichols, Sue Saheed, Alan Bungay and Ken Pickett.

THOUSANDS took part in the London Marathon on Sunday, joining celebrities such as Virgin multi-millionaire Richard Branson and Princess Beatrice. Competitors endured blistering conditions, with 36,000 taking part in the 30th annual event. We celebrate th

THOUSANDS took part in the London Marathon on Sunday, joining celebrities such as Virgin multi-millionaire Richard Branson and Princess Beatrice. Competitors endured blistering conditions, with 36,000 taking part in the 30th annual event.

We celebrate the achievements of just a few of the Gravesend runners who finished the 26.2-mile race.

A PENSIONER completed his 11th London Marathon despite injuring himself while training a week earlier.

Alan Bungay, of Redhill Wood, New Ash Green, completed the gruelling challenge in five hours and 52 minutes.

The 71-year-old said: "I'm not disappointed with my time, but the weekend before the race I had a fall and messed up my knees while training.

"I was right on cue to do a much better time but I really began to feel the effects at around the 21-mile mark and had to walk for a while.

"I was hoping to run under five hours but that's the name of the game really.

"You could get a nasty cold two days before the marathon so there's little point in making excuses."

The Dartford Harriers member remained upbeat, insisting the marathon is not always about the time you run. He added: "Over the years I've run for numerous charities. Last year I ran for EllenorLions and I've also raised money for Livingstone Hospital in Dartford because my wife works there.

"The big charities tend to get a lot of help from many people, which is great, but I feel it's the smaller charities which are more deserving so I support them.

"I didn't ask for sponsorship this year because when you've run as many marathons as I have you can't keep pestering people for money so I tend to do it every other year.

"I've raised several thousand pounds for my various chosen charities in the last decade or so and I'm pleased with that."

Asked about the secret of being able to run marathons at his age, Mr Bungay paid tribute to the help given by his running partners at Dartford Harriers Athletics Club.

He added: "I'm very fortunate with my health and I put that down to the age groups I'm running with.

"There are people of all ages at the club and we all help each other out and enjoy great social occasions together.

"After the marathon, we all went for a nice meal to relax. Everyone brought their families along and it was a lovely evening.

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