The race was also their opportunity to fundraise for a very worthy cause, Parkinson’s UK. Caroline explained the choice: "We are both running to raise funds for Parkinson's UK, which supports the 127,000 people (including my lovely Mom) who are currently living with the disease in the UK. Parkinson's UK is the largest charity funder of research into finding a cure and treatment for Parkinson's Disease in Europe. It also provides support groups, website, helpline and a team of local Parkinson's advisors. It is a charity very close to my heart, as I also helped many patients with PD when I was working in the UK as a Speech and Language Therapist."
For their efforts, and with the support of many friends, Caroline raised £4,347 and Scott £14,251, which put him in the top 10 fundraisers for this year’s event. An amazing effort!
This was the pair’s first marathon, and Scott had a clear set of goals. He said: “In order: (1) to finish, in itself not trivial! (2) To beat 4 hours. I'll be very happy to do this. (3) To beat 3:29:58!” (Ten years ago, Scott trained with a friend competing in the marathon and that was the time he achieved.)
Did he achieve the goals? Yes! Scott ran 3 hours 27 minutes, while Caroline finished the 26 mile (42km) race in 5 hours and 8 minutes – a great effort for what Caroline described as “the hardest physical challenge of my life.”
Scott and Caroline were in good company for the race – albeit not on the same planet! British astronaut, Tim Peake, was not only the official starter for the Marathon, but ran it himself, chained down to a treadmill, aboard the International Space Station. Although not the first astronaut to run the marathon in space, his time of 3 hours 35 minutes and 21 seconds is the fastest ever recorded.
Interestingly, in running the 42km marathon, he actually covered more than 100,000kms due to fact the International Space Station is travelling at 27,600km/hour. Peake, who ran to raise awareness for The Prince’s Trust charity, watched the London race as he himself ran and says he drew inspiration from watching the other runners and hearing their stories. You can read more from his blog here.
According to Guinness World Records, 31 Official Guinness Records were broken at the London Marathon, including the fastest four-legged marathon, fastest marathon in a fast food outfit and fastest marathon dressed in chain mail. Read all of them here.