Brentwood, 11.34am: 1°C, mist

Brentwood runners getting ready for another marathon

The 2018 London Marathon takes place on Sunday 22 April and we take a look at three local fundraisers who will be pounding the streets this year in aid of Saint Francis Hospice.

#TeamSFH runners raise £90,000 per year towards patient care. For more information see

James Sapwell

If you see a lion running around the streets of Brentwood there’s no need to be alarmed!

Shipbroker James Sapwell experienced the thrill of the London Marathon in 2016 and he’s roaring to do it all again in April dressed as a big cat – in honour of Saint Francis Hospice and its mascot Frankie.

James, 27, first ran the Virgin London Marathon in 2016 in memory of his best friend Jack Baxter’s dad, Dave Baxter, who was cared for by the charity before he died of Malignant Melanoma in 2013.

James, from Brentwood, was part of Team Dave Baxter and proudly ran alongside Jack, and three of their friends.

This time James is going the 26.2 mile distance alone on Sunday, April 22, but he has the fabulous support of his friends and family who will be helping him to raise as much money as he can for the charity.

“It is always a pleasure to do something that means other people can benefit from Saint Francis Hospice’s services and I don’t think we will ever stop,” said James, who served as a Brentwood Borough councillor from 2011 to 2015.

“The London Marathon is such an amazing experience. It is the only time the average person can feel like a professional athlete as people scream your name as you run through the streets of London, which is the best city in the world!”

Luke Harman

Luke Harman is making his first ever marathon one to remember by celebrating turning 30 just three days before the iconic race.

But it is much more than just a personal challenge for Luke! He is running in memory of his godmother Frances Garrett who was cared for by Saint Francis Hospice before she died of breast cancer in 2000.

“She was my mum’s best friend, and although she wasn’t direct family, she was still family,” said Luke, who lives in Brentwood and works as a Partnership’s Manager at the Football Association.

“It means everything to be running for the hospice as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

“It’s bigger than just me; it’s about raising money and awareness for the charity.

“I am excited as it will be a proud day for me, but there’s also the fear of the unknown and not knowing what’s coming.”

“I’m going to try and keep positive all the way round, and if I hit the dreaded wall, I’m going to try and remember why I’m doing it and what I’ll achieve at the end of it.”

Sarah Hockley

Volunteering at Saint Francis Hospice inspired Sarah Hockley, 21, to step outside her comfort zone and take on her first marathon!

Sarah’s initial contact with the hospice was through her mum Janet who works for Hetheringtons, a real estate agents in Hutton Road, Brentwood, which are big supporters of the charity.

This led to Sarah taking time out to volunteer at the hospice and even going the extra mile by signing up for the London Marathon so she could raise awareness and funds for its specialist care and support services.

“I’ve never done anything like this before so I just want to finish and enjoy the day,” said Sarah from Brentwood.

“Sporty events have never really been my thing but after volunteering at the hospice last year I’m eager to get involved a bit more. This is my next challenge and my chance to raise some serious money for the hospice.”

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