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Community / James and Richie raise more than £6,000 for cancer charity

TWO local men have gone well out of their comfort zone and completed a marathon in brisk westerly winds raising more than £6,000 in aid of pancreatic cancer research.

James Anderson and Richie Gardner set off from Quarff on Saturday morning and completed the 26.2-mile course at Busta House Hotel at 4:06 hours and 4:40 hours respectively.

James Anderson and Ritchie Gardner at Busta on Saturday afternoon after completing their marathon for charity. Photo: Davie Gardner

They have both recently lost close family and friends who bravely battled this devastating form of cancer, including James’ dad Keith.

Speaking on Sunday morning after having recovered from the task, Richie said he unfortunately suffered from cramp after about 15 miles and had to walk most of the remaining distance. ”But I managed to get it finished,” he added.

The friends only started running to get back in shape after the excesses of last year’s Up Helly Aas in Lerwick and Bressay and got into the swing of things when Covid hit and everybody was only allowed to get out for an hour for the daily exercise.

Amazingly, they managed from struggling doing a 5K run to completing a full marathon in little more than a year.

“We were pretty sure we could raise £1,000 each, never ever did we think we would raise £6,000. The generosity of local people is unbelievable. And then there is gift aid on top of that, so it is closer to £7,000 to charity which is so good,” Richie said.

“The charity is really close to home for us, and because we were both running and had already done a couple of ‘halfs’ around town, we said ‘let’s do it for charity and do it for Pancreatic Cancer UK because that was so close to both of us. It was really good to get it done.”

Donations to the Pancreatic Cancer UK charity can still be made via this JustGiving page.