Richard's marathon success for Ark

Delighted dad Richard Pilbeam is celebrating becoming a marathon man after a marvellous and memorable run saw him pile on the miles and pull in the pounds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

Months of training and hard work paid off for the 39-year-old father-of-two as he completed the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday in an impressive time of 4hours, 36 minutes and 56 seconds.

And as well as clocking up a great time on his marathon debut, the keen Basingstoke Town FC supporter is closing in on his goal of raising £1,000 the good cause.

Richard was motivated to run for the charity having lost a grandmother and mother-in-law to cancer – and he is delighted to have achieved his aims of completing the marathon and raising a lot of money.

“It was a great day and a great experience,” said Richard, who lives in Chineham, Basingstoke. “The atmosphere is something that you really have to savour, and it was lovely to hear so many people supporting me and chanting my name as I ran round the course.

“Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me on my journey. If you ever have the chance to do the London Marathon, then I would say ‘Go for it’. It really proves what a great society we live in. I have been touched by the lovely messages and the donations that I have received.

“The challenge that I have faced preparing for, and running, a marathon is nothing compared to somebody being treated for cancer, so if anyone would like to add to the fundraising total, there is still time, and I would be grateful for their support.”

As well as donations, Richard received great support from Shaun Udal and the team at embroidery and clothing firm Cotton Graphics, in Stroudley Road, Basingstoke. Ark Cancer Centre Charity is Cotton Graphics Charity of the Year and Shaun kindly provided Richard with two branded running shirts for the Virgin London Marathon.

Shaun said: “Well done to Richard on completing his first marathon. The Cotton Graphics team were delighted to support his efforts for our charity of the year.”

Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications at Ark Cancer Centre Charity, said: “Congratulations to Richard on his marathon fundraising feat. He is our first-ever Virgin London Marathon runner, and it is great that he had such a memorable and successful experience at this world-famous event. Thank you to everyone who has supported him and the charity.”

Richard, who is a residential services officer at a respite centre for people with disabilities, has been raising money through The Good Exchange match-funding platform, which means that every pound donated will be matched by Greenham Common Trust, which is supporting Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

Anyone who wants to support Richard’s fundraising mission can do so by going to

Picture caption:

Richard with his medal after crossing the finish line at the Virgin London Marathon.