RUNNERS pushed themselves to the limit in heavy rain to support charities that help people close to their hearts.

More than 2,000 people took part in today’s Swindon Half Marathon despite the weather.

And thousands more lined the streets to cheer them on the route around town.

RESULTS: Swindon Half Marathon 2019

Tim Paradise, 36 from Wroughton, was supporting his wife Charlie. He said: “It was a great event. There was a great atmosphere.”

Following the race, Charlie, 34 said: “The rain made it harder on mile eight as I was cold by then, but it was so amazing to see families standing out in the rain for hours to cheer you on. It got me through it.”

Many of the runners welcomed the rainy weather. Laura Peake, 39, from Moredon but now lives in Leamington Spa, said: “It was brilliant. The weather was much better than when it's too hot.

“It was great to see people out there. It was great.”

Kelly Cummings took part in the race to support the Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool Association in Jefferies Avenue, which provides support to her 13-year-old son Corey, who has cerebral palsy.

The 41-year-old mum from Old Town said: “He cannot walk and needs help with his movement and muscles. The charity helps him a lot. He now moves better and do things easier.

“I ran to support the work they are doing.”

Mum-of-two Niki Porter took part to support childhood cancer charity CALM.

She said: “My friend lost her little boy in 2016 so there’s a group of us who do a lot of fundraising throughout the year for CALM because they were massively supportive.”

This Is Wiltshire: Niki Porter raised money for CALM Niki Porter raised money for CALM

The young boy was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was 18 months old and fought the cancer until he was five.

Niki, 41 from Coleview added: “The charity helped Daniel a lot when he was having treatment.

“So, I raised money for CALM two years ago and this year as well.

"It’s a really important charity to us.

“I trained really hard to get ready. I run three to four times a week. I love running because it clears my head as I have two children.”

For Philip Puff, 57, from Liden, the Swindon Half Marathon was an opportunity to give back to Prospect Hospice as the charity helped his father before he died.

He said: “Prospect does a lot for the community, especially for people who need health care.
“My late father ended up in a care home just before he died, and prospect did get involved a couple of weeks before he passed. That’s the reason why I’m running for prospect this year. I have raised just over £300 for the charity.”

This Is Wiltshire: Philip Puff wanted to support Prospect Hospice, a charity which helped his father before he died. Philip Puff wanted to support Prospect Hospice, a charity which helped his father before he died.
Andrew Whale, 52, travelled from Portsmouth to join this year’s race. He said: “I’ve done the London Marathon this year and I’m signed up for London Marathon 2020, so it’s part of my training programme to keep events in the calendar.

“I just enjoy the sense of achievement, because I’m not a runner. It’s always good to go to different places and get different medals.”

Winner Christopher Wood finished in a time of 1hr 13mins 44secs shortly followed by Brendan Morris.

Organiser Graeme Hardie said: “We are proud of this. It was great chance for people to get out, do some running and raise money for charity. And it is great for the people of Swindon to be able to get together.”