NEWPORT resident Rob Ollerton was one of 350 British Heart Foundation champions who took to the streets of London on to conquer the Virgin Money London Marathon and raise funds for the charity’s life saving research.  

This is the first time since April 2019 that the event has taken place due to the pandemic, and more than 100 BHF champions took part in the race virtually alongside the BHF runners who pounded 26.2 miles of the capital’s streets.

The event comes as the BHF seeks to recover its income in the wake of the pandemic.

Mr Ollerton, 68, raised £1,600 running the marathon.

He took on the challenge because of his family’s connection to heart disease.

He said: “Both my parents suffered from heart disease before they died in their mid-seventies. My dad suffered four heart attacks in his life, the first aged 40."

In 2001 Rob suffered a heart attack and was diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), a genetic condition where you have exceptionally high levels of cholesterol in your blood.

He managed his condition with medication but went onto have another heart attack in 2012.

He said: “I’ve been running all my life but started running seriously after my second heart attack. My health is now better than ever, and my cholesterol is the lowest it has even been.

"I now run with the Undy and Redwick Roadrunners. The group has been the main reason for the vast improvement in my running. I’m really grateful to all my friends in the group that I’ve run with over the last few years who have encouraged and supported me.”

After crossing the finish line Rob said: “Taking part in the London Marathon was a huge challenge and an incredible experience. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been a long wait to get to the start line and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and the money I’ve raised for the British Heart Foundation.

“The atmosphere on the day was electric and I want to say thank you to all the amazing people on the side lines cheering me on, they really inspire you to keep going and put a smile on your face.

“Knowing that the money I have raised will help the British Heart Foundation raise vital funds for life saving research for people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases was also a huge motivator.”   


* Suzanne Thomas, of Risca, was running in her first London marathon in aid of St David's Hospice Care. She has previously taken part in the Newport marathon on a couple of occasions. She completed the run in the capital in 5hrs 35mins.

* Chepstow runner James Murphy decided to run his first marathon in London in aid of Mind. He set himself a target of raising £200 but has already beaten that with £480 already donated.

Mr Murphy completed the run in 5hrs 38mins.