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£15,000 and rising! Proud Turner completes marathon and smashes Hope for Tomorrow target

British racing ace Darren Turner completed his fourth TCS London Marathon on Sunday and has so far raised more than three times his initial target sum of £5000 for the Hope for Tomorrow charity, which provides mobile cancer care units for NHS Trusts around England.

Turner, who turned 50 just over a week ago, set himself the challenge of another 26-mile road race around Great Britain’s capital city to prove that age is just a number – giving himself 100 days to prepare to try and run the course in under four hours.


In the end though, despite completing the marathon and recording a new personal best of 4h06m, it all paled in comparison when measured against the extraordinary sum of money he’s raised for Hope for Tomorrow; more than £15,000 and counting… 


“My over-riding feeling today is just being super grateful to everyone who has helped us smash our target,” said Darren. “I never imagined we’d raise so much and it’s incredibly generous of all those who have supported us. Thank you so much everyone.”

Turner is the first to admit he’s not a natural long-distance runner, unless he’s strapped into a works Aston Martin Vantage, but he chose to focus on this target precisely because it was so difficult to achieve.


“Actually, in the past I’ve found the marathon hard, but while that was the case again this year, this time for the first time I really enjoyed it and the incredible atmosphere it generates,” he said. “There was a real buzz about the city.”


The weather was dry at the start, but there was a chilly breeze, which created “good conditions for running” according to Turner. Indeed, Kenyan Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir set a new world record time of 2h16m16s in the women’s elite race. Our hero was a couple of paces back from that blistering mark, but was rightly proud of finishing nonetheless.


“I wanted to beat my best time which I did, and I wanted to get under four hours. I’ve been training hard for 100 days to do so, but that was never going to be easy, being ten years older,” he explained.

“I started well, and I felt like I had a good rhythm early on and I felt strong for the first five or six miles. It was great to see my family at around nine miles just before Tower Bridge, and it was it was a special feeling for my children to see me doing it.


“But then when we got to Tower Bridge I started to feel it. It became more and more difficult to keep up my pace, and then for about the last seven miles I had to start walking every so often.”


Endurance racer to the end, Turner kept motivated by the need to reach the next fuelling stop…


“I was really hoping to see the family again somewhere around Canary Wharf because I was hankering after a packet of Dylan’s jelly babies for the sugar! I did get to see them again towards the end and that was an extra special feeling.”

So, would he do it again?


“I’d like to say no, but I’m already thinking it was such an incredible experience. And I’ve not got under the four hour mark! This was the first marathon I’ve done where I really noticed the crowd and the incredible atmosphere, even though in some ways it was the one I found the hardest to complete. Someone told me to put my name on my shirt, because then people shout out for you and cheer you on, and it’s amazing how much that helps you along.


“I didn’t beat my time target, but with all the money we’ve raised, and the fantastic experience I’ve had, that doesn’t matter in the slightest. There’s always next year…”

It's not too late to contribute to Darren's total through the link button below.

The 2024 TCS London Marathon takes place on 21 April. For more information on the event and how to follow it, please visit For more information about the Hope for Tomorrow charity, please visit


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