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At lunchtime today (21 May) 50 runners arrived in Wandsworth Park, London, completing the 2,680 mile RelayGB marathon world record attempt for distance relay running.
The world record was smashed by 757 miles. The current record stands at 1,923 miles set in Romania in 2009.
RelayGB is a charity fundraising challenge that saw over 450 runners around Britain completing 100 back-to-back marathons in 18 days. The mission was to break the world record while raising vital funds for Brain Tumour UK.
The final leg runners who crossed the finish line at the park at 2.29pm included Laura Glynn and her three team-mates Andrew, Spike and David, who ran in memory of her sister Chloe who died of a brain tumour last December age 23, and former Scottish women’s rugby international and brain tumour survivor, Vicky Galbraith.
Vicky, 39, a cancer drug researcher from Hertfordshire, has recently had her six month scan following surgery last year to remove the rare cancerous tumour. Since then she has had six weeks of combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Vicky completed a half marathon in the final leg said: 'I feel fortunate to be here at the end of this amazing event. I feel fortunate to be alive, to be able to run, talk and walk. As a patient and cancer drug researcher I know how important it is that we continue to work together to fund and develop new and better treatments.'
They were joined by around 50 other RelayGB runners for a final lap of the park before the finish line.
Harry Potter actor and Brain Tumour UK Patron, Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley), was at the event to support Brain Tumour UK and the runners and celebrate the world record.
Chris’s mother, Marilyn, ran a 26-mile leg in RelayGB between Dorchester and Lyme Regis. Marilyn will be joined the final leg runners as they ran into the Park.
Chris said: 'The work that Brain Tumour UK and the RelayGB team have done with this world record is phenomenal. The awareness and funds this event has raised for people living with brain tumours is brilliant. I’m so proud to be involved with such an extraordinary and dedicated charity.'
RelayGB took place between 4-21 May and was supported by adidas, Moore Stephens and AudioFuel.
RelayGB organiser, John Stanford, and the support crew were on the road in their motorhomes doing day and night shifts to cycle next to the runners, keep them safe, and even running alongside them.
John said: 'This has been an amazing journey. The support crew have been absolutely fantastic. Thank you to everyone who has taken part, who has run and helped to make this world record a success. Together we can keep the awareness and fundraising going for Brain Tumour UK.'
The challenge made a circuit of Britain, taking in major cities including Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle.
Runners included legendary runner and medal winner Liz McColgan who ran the 26 mile leg between Arbroath and St Andrews, and London Marathon winner Mike Gratton, who ran Faversham to Folkestone - his first marathon in 21 years!
The fundraising total from all sources so far stands at around £100,000 and there’s still time to make a donation to support John and Brain Tumour UK here.
Despite 40 people being diagnosed every day in the UK with a primary brain tumour, only 2% of all cancer research funding in the UK goes to brain tumour research. Brain tumours now kill more children than leukemia in this country and are the biggest child cancer killer.
Jenny Baker, Chief Executive at Brain Tumour UK, said: 'Springing from one supporter’s inspired vision, RelayGB has been a unique UK running challenge in aid of Brain Tumour UK. I warmly salute John Stanford’s infectious leadership, his support team’s commitment and the enthusiasm of hundreds of runners joining up to achieve exhilarating success and raise vital funds for our charity’s world class research programme at Wolverhampton University.'
Once the world record has been verified, everyone who took part will be able to say they took part in a world record.