London Marathon beckons for university pair

London Marathon beckons for university pair

Two figures at the University of Cumbria are limbering up for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon taking place this Sunday (28 April) – both as first-time marathon runners.

Paramedic practice lecturer Craig Betton has calculated that he has already burned 42,100 calories clocking up more than 330 miles of training over 50 hours since the start of the year.

And he couldn’t be happier as the big day approaches for it has taken him years to secure a place in the sought-after 26.2-mile event.

Seasoned runner Craig is aiming to raise £1,400 for VICTA, a charity that supports blind and partially sighted children and young people, and their families.

He has already raised £900 and would appreciate further support to reach his target. Online donations can be made at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CraigBetton

Craig, who is based at the university’s Fusehill Street campus in Carlisle, said: “I’ve always wanted to do it and I’ve been applying for a ballot place for seven or eight years. This year I’ve taken the plunge and opted for a charity place. London is on my bucket list.

“I’ve done something like 12 half marathons since 2011 and I was a spectator at the London Marathon two years ago when my partner did it. The atmosphere there is like nothing else I’ve experienced. I can’t wait to take part, but I’ve been shaking off a slight ankle injury recently.”

Meanwhile 28-year-old Martha Noble says the flexibility of her master’s degree has provided her with the perfect opportunity to devise a gruelling training schedule that dovetails well with the demands of her dissertation and research

MSc Occupational Therapy student Martha, who lives in Ambleside, is raising sponsorship for The Calvert Trust, a charity that has a base near Keswick and helps people with disabilities to explore the great outdoors.

It costs the charity over a million pounds to run its centre at Bassenthwaite with £450,000 needing to be raised through fundraising. Donations to Martha’s cause can be made online at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MarthaNoble

Martha is close to completing her two-year course, delivered at the university’s Fusehill Street campus in Carlisle.

Originally from Kingston-upon-Thames, Martha, is looking forward to be cheered on by her fiancé Rich and many of her London-based family and friends.

The couple are due to marry in September and guests have been invited to give donations to the charity in lieu of wedding presents.

A member of Ambleside Fell Running Club, Martha said: “My course has provided the flexibility to fit my marathon training, particularly the time needed for long runs, around my studies and the other parts of my life.

“Between January and April this year I was only going to be at university one or two days a week and have self-directed study which means I’ve been able to plan my marathon training around that. For instance, I’ve been able to fit in my long runs on a Friday and have my weekends to myself. Other runners often have to fit their long runs in on a Sunday.

“The training for the marathon has been a welcome break to my studies. It has meant I’ve felt I’ve been very productive throughout, rather than sitting staring at a computer when putting together my dissertation.”

The university’s Fusehill Street campus is hosting two key events next month. Prospective students can enjoy campus tour on 1 May and an evening providing information about postgraduate health courses and opportunities is on 9 May.