Going the distance for Midhurst-founded charity

London marathon runner David Laight presenting Dreams Come True's Martin Neal with a �3500 cheque.   Picture by Louise Adams
London marathon runner David Laight presenting Dreams Come True's Martin Neal with a �3500 cheque. Picture by Louise Adams
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A RUNNER went the extra mile to raise money for a children’s charity.

David Laight, formerly the store manager at the town’s Budgens store, ran the London Marathon in April to raise £3,500 for Midhurst-founded charity Dreams Come True.

“It was a brilliant atmosphere,” he said of the race on April 21.

“It was a really fabulous experience to take part.”

He said he felt it was ‘written in the stars’ that he should do the race for Dreams Come True.

“It’s such a local charity,” he said.

Budgens had already been supporting the charity in the store and David described it as ‘just the right charity’ to fundraise for by challenging himself to run the London Marathon.

There were collecting buckets in the store long in advance of the race and David thanked the generosity of shoppers who donated and helped him to raise such a large amount of cash.

“A big thank you to everybody who chucked money in,” he said.

His finishing time for the race was six hours and 57 minutes.

He said he got under seven hours because his sons were near the finish line and he wanted to put on a final sprint.

However, he joked: “I did have to suffer the indignation of being overtaken by a donkey at the finish line,” after someone in a costume ran past him.

David used to be the store manager at Budgens in Midhurst.

However he is now an operations manager for the company and visits a number of stores throughout the area.

It was David’s first marathon and he said it was also an emotional occasion following the events at the Boston Marathon shortly before.

“Everyone was given a black ribbon to remember what happened in Boston,” he said.

The public was keen to show its support for the victims and David said organisers reported it was one of the biggest crowds the marathon had seen in a long time.

“All around the course all the pubs were open, bands were playing and there were cheerleaders,” he said.