LAUNCESTON’S David Parish ran the Exeter Marathon on Sunday, November 7, raising well over £2,000 for the charity SANDS.

SANDS (stillbirth and neonatal death charity) works to support anyone affected by the death of a baby, improve the care bereaved parents receive, and create a world where fewer babies die.

David, a keen rugby player at Launceston and cricketer for Werrington, is well known around the town, and tells the story.

He said: “I did the Treggy 7 and Tavy 7 back in 2019 and then applied for the Tavy 13 half marathon.

“COVID caused them to cancel the Tavy half, and with no rugby training I was running more and decided to enter the Exeter Marathon instead to challenge myself.

“Sadly, back in 2017, my wife Jo and I lost our twin boys at 16 weeks into our pregnancy. This was a very difficult time, but we were supported by SANDS to help us with our bereavement and so this was an obvious choice for me when choosing a charity to run for.”

David’s target was to run the 26.2 miles around the city and its outskirts in under four hours, a feat he achieved comfortably, helped by a 16-week training programme of long and short runs.

He said: “The run started off fine on Sunday, got to half way feeling okay and then from mile 17/18 onwards my legs got heavy. But I pushed on through with the support of family and friends as my support crew (25 in total) were dotted around the course in Exeter, jogging with me, feeding me jelly babies and cheering me on — it really helped!

“The last few miles were tough, but knowing I was doing it for SANDS, in memory of Jack and Archie, helped get me to the finish.

“It was hard in places, but overall better than I thought. I was aiming for four-hour finish, and completed it in three hours and 49 minutes which I was really pleased with.”

Dave praised the support he’s received, and admitted he’s got the running bug.

He said: “I’ve been blown away by the response and support I’ve received, with a current total raised of £2,300 to go to this important charity.

“I’ll aim to return to rugby again now, but hope to enter the London Marathon next year for the same charity, along with Ed Horn, another keen running friend who has done the London Marathon before.

“Massive thanks to everyone who has donated to the charity, it really means a lot to us, and also to all that have cheered and supported me along the way. Watch this space for my next big run!”

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