From Chatteris to Chicago - marathon runner Alex raises over £1,000 for Magpas, even with a dodgy knee!

Aidan Hollis, marathon runner Alex Ashley, Matt Ashley and Adam White

Aidan Hollis, marathon runner Alex Ashley, Matt Ashley and Adam White - Credit: Archant

Alex Ashley, of Chatteris, completed all 26.2 miles of the Chicago marathon yesterday and raised over £1,000 for local charity Magpas in the process.

Alex Ashley with his medal and a pint after the race

Alex Ashley with his medal and a pint after the race - Credit: Archant

Despite having injured his knee during training, the 25-year-old, who flew out to the states last week, completed the marathon in four hours and 13 minutes.

“I beat my personal best by six minutes,” he said, “although I’m feeling the effects hard this morning.”

This year’s Chicago marathon was also one of the hottest days on record for the event.

“The weather was unreal. I didn’t think it was going to be that hot on race day and it certainly took its toll on me and a few others of the 45,000 competing.”

Alex Ashley

Alex Ashley - Credit: Archant

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Having raised £2,000 for Alzheimer’s Charity by completing the London marathon last year, he wanted to support a local charity this time.

“It was a pleasure to run for such a great charity and especially a local one that helps so many people,” he said.

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“After a quick calculation, the total is currently sitting at £1,007. That’s without three money pots I need to count up and odd bits I need to include which I have at home.”

A representative of Magpas commended Alex’s achievement on the charity’s Facebook page: “We’d like to congratulate our marathon runner Alex for taking part in the Chicago marathon yesterday.

“Thank you so much Alex, you went far for us in many ways; well done!”

Alex added that while he unfortunately didn’t hit his target of under four hours, “I’m very confident I would have if my knee didn’t go around the 18 mile mark.

“Because of this I had to walk for around two and a bit miles as the pain was too much, but I then carried on and still managed to finish strong with a sort of sprint, 100 metres from the finish line.

“Nevertheless, I’m pretty pleased with that time and knowing I could have reached my goal!”

Alex flew out to the states with his brother Matt Ashley and two friends, Aidan Hollis and Adam White.

He described the atmosphere around the track as “awesome” and said 1.2 million people took to the streets to support everyone involved.

“There were bands and DJ’s playing around every corner and people offering energy sweets and drinks along the way… and the odd sponge too!

“If you had your name on your top, like I did, everyone would be calling your name out,” he added, “it’s a bit of an odd feeling to have complete strangers call out your name, but it does help you to get round the course!”

Alex said that now he’s completed both the London and Chicago marathons, “I think I’m going to retire from marathon running now.

“I don’t think my knee likes it any more and I’ve missed playing football on a Saturday, so I want to get back into that as soon as possible!”

To increase Alex’s fundraising total further, visit

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