GALLERY: The thrills, spills but for one family the poignancy of Grunty Fen 2013

Grunty Fen Half Marathon. Team running for the Air Amulance Picture: Steve Williams.

Grunty Fen Half Marathon. Team running for the Air Amulance Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Among the 800 capacity runners who began East Cambridgeshire’s biggest half marathon of the year was a group of family and friends taking part for a poignant reason.

Grunty Fen Half Marathon. Picture: Steve Williams.

Grunty Fen Half Marathon. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

With a steely determination Florence Clark, 18, had rounded up friends to raise money for the East Air Anglian Air Ambulance for the simply reason, she says, “they could save somebody’s brother”.

Grunty Fen Half Marathon. Ashley Archer ready for the start. Picture: Steve Williams.

Grunty Fen Half Marathon. Ashley Archer ready for the start. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Her selflessness was the more extraordinary because her own brother, Tristan, died suddenly at their home near Cambridge in March despite the best efforts of everyone – including the air ambulance- to save him. It was later found he had died in his sleep after a thrombus moved to his lung.

Grunty Fen Half Marathon. Picture: Steve Williams.

Grunty Fen Half Marathon. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Tristan had gained a law degree in 2012 from the University of East Anglia – and Florence hopes to study medicine there.

Grunty Fen Half Marathon. Picture: Steve Williams.

Grunty Fen Half Marathon. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

She said: “Tristan was found on Friday lunchtime and the East Anglian Air Ambulance had landed on a nearby field extremely quickly afterwards,” she said. “They couldn’t save Tristan but they can save hundreds of other people.”


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Soon afterwards she began fund raising, to make sense of the one a million death of her brother.

“I have been blessed with 18 years of the world’s best big brother, a truly talented, inspirational, loving man,” she said.

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On Sunday her fund raising efforts topped the £15,000 mark through sponsorship by herself and a group of friends running the Grunty Fen half marathon at Witchford.

Florence and Tristan’s mum, Erica, said: “I am immensely proud of Florence as she is being so strong for me. She’s being a star and is really keeping her eye on the ball. On top of that, she’s doing all this fundraising and getting people to train.”

Many others no doubt had their own reasons for taking part in what organisers described as “perfect conditions” as 575 runners completed the event.

“The feedback we have is very positive,” said race director John Crawford.

The winner of the men’s race was Aaron Scott of Notts AC who bettered his winning time from 2012 by over two and a half minutes to win in1hr8min20.2sec.

The winner of the women’s race was Philippa Taylor of Nene Valley Harriers. Finishing third in 2012 she went two places better finishing in 1hr 20min 33.3 sec, bettering last year’s time by a whopping 5min.

Ashley Archer won the wheelchair event in 1hr1min35.6s.

Cambridge & Coleridge AC won both the men’s and women’s team prizes.

The event was sponsored by the Ely Standard.

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