Sister act – Amy Gilbert (right) and her elder sister Abi are pictured with their medals after completing the London Marathon on Sunday.

Over £4,000 raised for Mencap in her first long-distance race

A housing officer at East Devon District Council has successfully completed the London Marathon, raising over £4,000 for Mencap to honour her disabled younger sister.

Amy Gilbert, Support Services Manager, had never before run a full marathon. She entered the race to honour her younger sister Alice, who has severe mental and physical disabilities.

Hoping to collect at least £3,000 in sponsorship before she joined the other 40,000 runners on Sunday, Amy managed to secure over £4,000 in pledges before the race.

She described the race as a surreal experience, adding:

There was amazing support from the huge crowds watching at the side of the course. It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever done and at 20 miles I was wondering if I could keep going. But the crowd – including my family and friends, who were shouting encouragement – just drive you forward. I felt overwhelmed and very emotional afterwards and there was a tremendous feeling of satisfaction at getting to the finish.

Of the 100 Mencap runners, Amy was the second highest fund-raiser, comfortably beating her personal funding target. She completed the course in a time of 4 hours 48 minutes – just a short distance behind radio and TV personality Chris Evans, who surprised everyone by running the race.

Amy was a good distance further behind her elder sister Abi, running for the charity Children with Cancer, who finished in 4 hours 6 minutes. Amy added:

She’s faster than me!