Fab five complete half-marathon for Ark

Five fab fundraisers went the extra 13.1 miles for Ark Cancer Centre Charity by taking part in the 2018 Basingstoke Half-Marathon.

Darren Barham, Mark Dolby, Darren Lovegrove, Faith Ruto and Raquel Searle all flew the flag for Ark at Sunday's event - and all five recorded impressive times on the challenging course.

First home was Arkrider legend and Beaufort Financial director Mark in just under 1hr 50mins. The half-marathon was the latest in a series of fundraising feats that Mark has taken on in support of Ark. He has now run four half-marathons, taken part in three Arkrider cycle rides, and abseiled down the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, raising thousands of pounds on the way.

Royal Mail delivery worker Darren Barham was not far behind Mark. A veteran of many half-marathons and marathons, Darren, whose wife Debbie is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, has received a lot of support on his fundraising page, and has absolutely smashed his fundraising target. 

Raquel, who was raising money with her friend Faith, was the third Ark runner to cross the finish line in just over two hours, and Clarke & Son marketing manager Darren Lovegrove was only a few minutes behind - an amazing achievement coming just eight days after Darren was part of a team that completed a 13-mile London Bridges sponsored walk for Ark, and only five days after he injured one of his ankles.

Finishing just behind Darren, Faith, who is a motivational speaker, certified coach, resilience consultant, and mentor, also clocked up a great time as she crossed the line in 2hrs 10mins.

Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications for Ark Cancer Centre Charity, said: "Congratulations to our fabulous five half-marathon runners. They should all be very proud of what they have achieved. Their times on this challenging course were all very impressive, and it was a pleasure, and delight, to cheer them all across the finish line.

"Completing a half-marathon is a great achievement, and everyone at Ark is grateful to our fab five for going the extra 13.1 miles in support of the charity and the cancer treatment centre project."

The five Ark runnners were part of a 1,000-strong field of entrants who took part in Sunday's event - the eighth Basingstoke Half-Marathon and the first to be run on a new route since the event launched in 2011. Organised by Destination Basingstoke, the Basingstoke Half-Marathon has become one of the most popular events of its kind in the country, and the 2019 event will feature a 10km run as well as a half-marathon.

Picture caption: (from left) Four of the five Ark Cancer Centre Charity half-marathon runners - Mark Dolby, Raquel Searle, Faith Ruto, and Darren Lovegrove. Together with Darren Barham, the five clocked up the miles and pulled in the pounds for Ark at the 2018 event.