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Marathon challenge

PUBLISHED: 14:40 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:31 07 July 2010

MID-NORFOLK runner Peter Cappuccio thought he was down on his luck again when he arrived in the capital for his second London Marathon.

Last year, father-of-two Peter, from Mattishall, had to leg it six miles before he even began the run because of hold-ups on the Docklands Light Railway between his hotel and the starting line.

MID-NORFOLK runner Peter Cappuccio thought he was down on his luck again when he arrived in the capital for his second London Marathon.

Last year, father-of-two Peter, from Mattishall, had to leg it six miles before he even began the run because of hold-ups on the Docklands Light Railway between his hotel and the starting line.

This time, he arrived on Saturday morning only to be told that the hotel in Victoria where he had reserved a room for his overnight stay had overbooked, and was turning him away.

Luckily, despite the large numbers of people staying in London for the race, he was able to find alternative accommodation not far away. And the hitch didn't mar his performance, as he lopped 15 minutes off his 2007 showing by crossing the finishing line in three-and-three-quarter hours.

"I don't know whether there are as many doorways and park benches available in London these days!" joked Peter, 43, who works at the Shell UK plant at Bacton gas terminal. "To be honest, I was quite angry about the hotel at the time but relieved when I got somewhere to stay."

Peter, boosted by £1,000 from Shell and other sponsors including Ed Bales, from Poultec, JMP Financial Services and the Rembrandt Restaurant at Easton, is looking to raise well over £2,000 for Cancer Research UK this year.

"I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped me," he said.

Fellow Mattishall contender Freddie "Fast Freddie" French enjoyed his fourth London Marathon, turning in a time of just over 4 hours, 56 minutes.

His performance did not quite live up to his hope-for time of four-and-a-half hours, but that was partly down to the huge field of runners for the 2008 race. "There were a couple of occasions when we just came to a grinding halt with the sheer weight of people," he explained.

Wife Sarah and daughter Kerri were among those lending moral support to Freddie, who says he his now determined to apply for the 2009 marathon, by which time he will have celebrated his 50th birthday.

This time around he is on target to raise more than £2,500 in sponsorship, to be shared between the Children with Leukaemia charity and East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

Call Peter on 07969 488390 if you would like to sponsor him. You can add to Fast Freddie's tally by visiting www.bmycharity.com/fastfreddiefrench

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