Chief Constable Mike Griffiths, Supt Mick Vance and Sgt Liam Grist were among 38,000 people who completed the 35th annual London Marathon yesterday (26/4).
The three officers completed the 26.2 mile course in aid of charities very close to their hearts and raised a total of £13,960 for their chosen causes.
Chief Constable Griffiths and his wife Sue ran for the SSAFA military charity and have raised £8,260 to date. Mike and Sue ran in memory of their son Captain Andrew Griffiths, who died five years’ ago as a result of wounds he sustained whilst serving in Afghanistan.
Mick Vance, divisional superintendent for S Division, raised £4,000 for the charity Mencap. The London Marathon was the end of a mammoth challenge which saw him run a total 62.4 race miles, completing the Belfast Half Marathon 2014, the Great South Run 2014, the Oxford Half Marathon 2014, finishing with the London Marathon yesterday. Unfortunately he was not able to take part in the Reading Half Marathon due to a stress fracture in his foot.
He completed the challenge on behalf of Mencap, a national charity who work with people of all ages with learning difficulties to support them to live the lives they chose and had previously supported his daughter Ellie. Visit the Mencap website to find out more
Liam Grist, a sergeant at Sizewell, raised £1,700 for the Colostomy Association, who provide emotional and practical support to people who have had colostomies and their families and who have helped his wife through difficult illness. To find out more about their work, visit the Colostomy Association website
Chief Constable Griffiths said: “Both Sue and I are so proud to have completed the run in Andrew’s memory, and carried a flag commemorating him for the last few miles. The training was challenging and involved running in all weathers and on different continents but it was all worth it when we crossed the line yesterday, although I am feeling the effects this morning!
“We have seen first-hand the work that the SSAFA do to give support to service families. For us during the period when Andrew was critically ill in hospital, the ability to be able to concentrate on him instead of the trivia of daily life was a gift beyond words.
“I want to personally thank all those within the Constabulary who have supported us financially and verbally – you have made the effort and pain worthwhile. Sue and I just wanted to say thank you and give something back and you have helped us to do that.”
Supt Vance said: “Crossing the finish line yesterday and completing my final running challenge was exhilarating and knowing I have raised well over my original target for this vital charity makes me very proud.
“I chose Mencap as they offered fantastic support and care when my daughter Ellie, who has learning difficulties, was younger. She attended a Mencap nursery and the staff were amazing. They really cared for the children and give them exactly the support they needed where mainstream nurseries couldn’t. Funding for Mencap is vital to ensure that children like Ellie get the best start in life and to ease them into the education system at the level they require.
“Completing four races was a challenge, and I was nervous about finishing the full marathon yesterday after my injury, but it was more than worth it to allow Mencap to carry on supporting those with learning difficulties and their families.”
Sgt Grist said: “Over the last few years my wife Siobhan has endured ill health on a level that I can’t imagine. Through this time I have obviously been there for support but there was nothing I could physically do to help and completing this Marathon was my way of doing that.
“It was a real achievement to reach the end of the race and I was privileged to take part and raise both money and awareness for a fantastic cause that provides life changing support and advice to anyone that is in need.”
CNPA Chairman, Sir Philip Trousdell said: “Well done to all three marathon runners! A simply fantastic effort. From our initial training courses charity support is part of CNC’s engagement with both local communities and with national organisations. Last year I was hugely touched by the support I was given by the CNC as I pedalled across France to raise money for Help for Heroes. So touched I am about to do it again! Your support would be very welcome.”
If you would like to make a contribution to support any of these worthwhile charities on Mike, Mick, Liam’s or Sir Philip’s behalf, their sponsorship pages are still open for donations.