A marathon effort for veterans

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THE LIVES of the fallen were remembered as four women ran the London Marathon carrying a fibreglass war horse.

Karen Shrimpton, 56, Sharon Ellis, 42, Debbie Bell, 51, and Penny Patten, 52, all from the Chichester area, ran the race in seven hours, three mins and 53 secs.

During the race, they took on an extra stone-and-a-half of coins as people dropped money into buckets they were carrying.

They managed to raise £1,025.11 during the course of the race for the Royal British Legion.

Colin, the fibreglass horse, was created by Jago Developments Ltd from Chichester, as well as KT Fabrication and Redfern Engineering, both from Bognor Regis.

Karen described the race on April 13 as ‘hot and very hard’.

The team had been trying to break the world record for the fastest marathon in a four-person costume, but missed out by just three mins and 53 secs.

“We were disappointed we didn’t hit the world record, but I bet we met a world record in fundraising during a marathon,” she said afterwards, adding: “Colin our horse looked fantastic throughout, but then he was being carried.

“At five stone in weight, he seemed heavier by the end.”

She also thanked runner Penny’s husband Clive, who has helped with some of the previous versions of Colin, and Panther Van Hire, from Chichester, which provided free transportation to London for Colin, and Wendy Butler for providing a poppy garland, as well as Genesta Battlefield Tours.

“Lastly, our friends and family who were so amazing on the day and really wanted us to get that world record,” said Karen.

The team are still fundraising towards their £8,000 target.

Karen said they chose to raise money for the poppy appeal to honour the 100-year anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war.

Previous versions of Colin the horse have run the London Marathon since 2006, raising thousands of pounds for many different charities.

To make a donation visit the website www.justgiving.com/colin-warhorse