Cheer point Samaritans london marathon

Phone-tastic finishes for Samaritans’ record-breaking London Marathon runner

Runners in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon broke World Records, not to mention PBs, in their quest to raise vital funds for Samaritans’ life-saving services.

Warren Edwicker ran straight into the record books for smashing by half an hour the Guinness World Record for ‘fastest marathon dressed as a telephone box’ in a very respectable fancy dress time of 4 hours, 7 minutes and 57 seconds. 

Warren Edwicker said: “My wife is a Samaritans volunteer and I was determined to support the fantastic work they do and raise even more awareness by getting on the telly. What better than combining a life-saving phone service with a phone box costume? So, it was off to the garage to make it and then out on the road to train. And now, not only am I a World Record breaker, half-way over Tower Bridge Strictly Come Dancing champion Ore Oduba from BBC Sport grabbed me for an interview for TV!”

Not to be outdone, former volunteer Dave Lock (aka ‘Dave the running phone’) donned his weighty giant telephone outfit, including full lycra suit, for Samaritans for the nineteenth year in a row. Mobbed along the way by spectators tasked to #FindDave, it was high fives and autographs all the way to a time of 6’43’54.

Losing a close friend to suicide motivated Gurminder Sooch to run his first marathon for Samaritans. He completed the 26 miles  in just 4’17’03. ” Everyone has a reason to run a marathon and I signed up last October at a very sad time for me after my childhood friend had passed away from suicide. I was looking for a charity that supports people dealing with difficult issues and helps them when they need it -  that was what got me round. Samaritans also does a lot of work in my community with people who are homeless and I like the fact that it has numerous outreach programmes too.”

Richard Clay made his debut in a spectacular time of just 3’29’16. “I have friends who volunteer for Samaritans and friends who have called Samaritans. Crossing the finish line was unbelievable and really emotional. Running for them made the race more important for me.”

Fastest home for Samaritans was Michael Pugh who broke his personal best time to run 2’59’12 in his second sub-three-hour marathon, spurred on by the importance of Samaritans’ cause. “I made a decision to use my running and my experiences of dealing with my own mental health to empower others. Samaritans has been there for me when I’ve needed support, so I was determined to run, raise money and speak out to help others.”

In equally pioneering spirit Nicola Gee, who is running an incredible 24 races for Samaritans came home in 5’14’39, with London being the twenty-first event in her mammoth fundraising campaign. “It’s so important to me that people know that Samaritans is there for everyone, whatever you’re going through. I know from experience how important it is that they are there to turn to at the toughest times in life. I’ll be just as proud running my twenty-fourth race for them, as I was my first!”

Samaritans runners were met at the finish line by volunteers and treated to an after-party at The Playhouse theatre with each being invited up on stage to be presented with a commemorative certificate from Felicity Varah-Harding, whose father Chad founded Samaritans. Following cheers and applause from friends and family, they then headed to the dressing rooms for hot showers, food, drink and a well-deserved massage.

Emma Burgess, Samaritans Events Fundraiser said: “We rely on donations for the huge majority of our income. The money raised by the London Marathon will help us in our race to provide emotional support for free at any time to anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed. This year’s team of seventy runners has gone above and beyond to raise awareness and invaluable funds to support the work we do. Just by clicking on their fundraising links, you can show your support and keep those vital donations coming.”

Help Warren Edwicker raise funds for Samaritans: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/warrenedwicker

Help Dave Lock raise funds for Samaritans: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/David-Lock19

Help Gurminder Sooch raise funds for Samaritans: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GurminderSooch

Help Richard Clay raise funds for Samaritans: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RichClay

Help Michael Pugh raise funds for Samaritans: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mental-health-matters

Help Nicola Gee fundraise for Samaritans: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Samaritans-24

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For more information, photos and interviews, please contact Samaritans’ Press Team on 020 8394 8300 or press@samaritans.org.

Notes to editors:

  • Anyone can contact Samaritans. Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.
  • Samaritans responds to more than 5.4 million calls for help a year. It’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 trained volunteers that means Samaritans is always there for anyone struggling to cope. Find out how you can support us: http://www.samaritans.org/support-us