Marathon effort for Diabetes

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TWO Islanders who completed the New York marathon raised over £8,000 in sponsorship and gave the money to Diabetes Jersey at the weekend.

Jeremy Johnson (61) and Jeff Baron (51) tackled the gruelling race last November and now Jeremy is ready to tackle the London marathon later this month to raise funds for the RNLI.

In Jeff’s case he hobbled around the 26 mile 385 yard course as he had torn a calf muscle in training the week before the race.

New York was Jeremy’s first marathon and he only decided when he turned 60 in January last year that a marathon would be his target. He also pledged that he would raise funds for Diabetes Jersey and the Rideout residential home in Midvale Road.

He followed a strict training schedule and completed New York in the very respectable time of 4 hr 22 min.

Jeff already had three marathons under his belt and the day of the race was his 51st birthday but this was his first marathon in more than 15 years.

What made his achievement remarkable was not only that he ran with an injury but that he has been an insulin dependent diabetic for 28 years. ‘There was a lot of money riding on it for Diabetes Jersey,’ he said ‘so I had to finish and I did. My time was not worth recording.’

Jeff has supported the local diabetic community for many years and was part of the original team that campaigned for funds to help build the first diabetes centre in 23 Kensington Place.

The centre recently moved to larger premises in the grounds of Overdale Hospital and the Diabetes Jersey charity has been charged with funding £195,000 towards the cost of refurbishing the building. Having been a part of the original team, he was determined to do his bit to help fund the replacement.

At a presentation held at Queens Valley Reservoir on Saturday the two presented a cheque for £8,200 from their fund-raising efforts.

The money was handed to Peter Bates, the diabetes consultant at the General Hospital, and Diabetes Jersey chairman Jacqueline McDermott.

Also present were a group of runners with whom the two men train every Saturday morning when they complete a run of six to eight miles.

Jeff and Jeremy wanted to say a very personal, heartfelt thank you to their friends, colleagues, fellow diabetics and sponsors for contributing to the funds.

• Picture: Jeff Baron and Jeremy Johnson receive the approval of representatives of Diabetes Jersey and fellow Saturday morning runners. Picture by Rob Currie (00662349)

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