Vince’s Marathon

vince 1ed

Vince Horsman, one of our baritones, completed the London Marathon on Sunday 24th April 2016. Not having done any sort of running before, Vince decided that it was a challenge he wanted to take on, and in particular to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK after his mother-in-law died from the disease several years before he met his wife in 1993. He had been to the capital many times to watch the race but now felt it was time to take part himself.

Vice stuck rigidly to the training regime suggested by the London Marathon organisation and this took up a large part of his day. A bit different from his normal hobbies which are poetry, singing in the choir, photography and being a grandfather of 3. He found the training uncomfortable but managed to reach all his objectives. He was apprehensive about how his knees would stand up to the pounding but when running, the pain disappeared. His training took in runs to Dunmow and back, a distance of 18 miles. He also had a good training manager, his wife Sue, who spurred him on when times got tough. They also both joined the local gym to help build up his fitness.

There were a total of 247,069 applicants for the ballot for entry to the marathon. Approx 38,000 runners set off, although the organisers accepted 50,000 entries. Through experience, the extra number will drop out due to illness, injury etc. It’s an achievement in itself just to get selected for entry.

He completed the race in 5hr 56 minutes which was a brilliant time for someone who is not a runner. We think he would have finished sooner, but he Hi-5’d all the little kids along the way, even going back to some, got talking to some of the fun runners and helped a much younger man who was struggling with injury down the final stretch and over the finish line.

His family were in a very good position near Big Ben so they could see the runners come round the far corner and run towards them. They saw him among the crowd from a log way away, distinctive by his spiky hair and reactalight lenses. Of course the bright yellow T-shirt topped off with the Pancreatic Cancer purple and yellow vest helped. Surprisingly, after having run 25 miles, he still looked cool, calm and collected though he felt far from it.

The charity held a reception for their finishers after the race in the QEH Conference Centre and provided runners with a jacket potato and chilli before they headed home, plus a very well deserved leg massage.

The day after, he was taking it very easy and survived unscathed apart from two very sore toes. What an achievement and has to rank very high in your list of lifetime achievements. He raised over £1,500 an amazing sum for a great charity. Huge congratulations Vince