Runners in and around Royston riding high after London Marathon glory

Steve Mulholland

Steve Mulholland - Credit: Archant

After hours of pain came the gain – a precious London Marathon medal, and the knowledge that all that effort had been worthwhile.

Royston man Craig McMurrough ran the marathon in memory of his aunt.

Royston man Craig McMurrough ran the marathon in memory of his aunt. - Credit: Archant

Let’s see how some of the entrants from around the Royston area fared in Sunday’s big event...

Steve Mulholland from Fowlmere ran the marathon in memory of his daughter Eilish, who died aged four in October after a year long struggle with cancer.

Steve has set himself the challenge of running four marathons this year for the Beads of Courage programme, which provides support and recognition to young cancer patients as they go through treatment. Each bead represents a different medical event or treatment such as scans, blood transfusions, surgeries, overnight stays and ambulance transfers.

Hayley Woods receiving a well earned hug.

Hayley Woods receiving a well earned hug. - Credit: Archant

The 40-year-old, who ran the marathon in 3.24.51, said: “Running the London Marathon was more emotional than I expected it to be. The crowds were immense and their support incredible and invaluable. Certainly when the legs were screaming to stop, the support enabled me to carry on.”

You can still donate to Steve’s JustGiving page at

Craig McMurrough completed the course in 6.15.07, dressed as a giant training shoe.

Julie ran the marathon in memory of her friend Julie's daugter Nicola Emmerson.

Julie ran the marathon in memory of her friend Julie's daugter Nicola Emmerson. - Credit: Archant

Most Read

The 44-year-old from Royston, who ran for Cancer Research UK, said: “It was such an incredible day – everyone should do it.

“Running in the costume was tough at times as I couldn’t stretch my legs out properly, but I had a collection bucket with me and managed to raise more than £400 on the way, so it was well worth it.

“The London Marathon is one of the most exciting running events in the world. I’m proud to have taken part and for a charity that is so close to my heart.”

To sponsor Craig, visit his fundraising website at

Julie Calvert from Royston raised more than £5,000 for The Nicola Emmerson Trust, a charity that carries out research into sudden cardiac arrest.

The sales executive completed the marathon in 4.10.28, and said the support of her running club Royston Runners spurred her on through training.

Julie said: “Wow, the experience was like nothing else, the toughest run of my life.

“We travelled up with the Royston Runners so I didn’t feel alone. I also carried a photograph of Nicola with me during the run. I was running with the people I’d trained with, so naively I was looking at it as a training run, but just a lot bigger and longer.

“I was one of 16 from the club. We had a great journey and the club were behind me all of the way.”

Julie ran the marathon in memory of her friend’s daughter Nicola, who died from sudden cardiac arrest in 2007. Nicola’s mother Julie said: “We are very proud of Julie on taking up this challenge, and totally amazed at the amount which she has raised.

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported Julie, especially the Royston Runners. It is has been a very exciting yet emotional journey for both Julie and me. Julie certainly did Nicola proud, and we know this day will stay with us for ever.”

To donate, visit

Fowlmere’s Hayley Woods ran the marathon despite suffering from a potentially life-threatening genetic condition.

The trade union officer had only managed to get up to eight miles running and walking during training as she suffers from Cyclical Neutropenia, but miraculously ran almost all the first 13 miles.

She said: “It’s true that the crowds carry you round. Crossing Tower Bridge was amazing and seeing my family half way round was very emotional. By this stage my ITB band and hip on my right was giving up and was very painful.

“My husband walked some of the final miles with me and kept me going. Most of the runners at the back were all walking together and keeping each other going, but those last six miles felt like an eternity. Children turn out in their droves to hand you sweets and high five you – it was amazing.”

The 33-year-old crossed the line in 7.00.02. She had medical assistance to tend to her feet and felt dizzy and cold for a few hours after, but she said she felt “elated and just happy to take part and to finish”.

Hayley raised £2,000 for Genetic Disorders UK, you can still donate by visiting