Charity runner finishes in top ten of marathon

Bruce Lovell who ran the Walled City Marathon in aid of the Rainbow Rehoming centre. INLV2214-337KDRBruce Lovell who ran the Walled City Marathon in aid of the Rainbow Rehoming centre. INLV2214-337KDR
Bruce Lovell who ran the Walled City Marathon in aid of the Rainbow Rehoming centre. INLV2214-337KDR
A Limavady man who entered the Walled City Marathon as part of a fund-raising bid caused a sensation at the weekend by finishing in the top ten.

Kind-hearted Limavady runner Bruce Lovell, originally from England, caused the upset of the competition by finishing in eighth place overall - from a field of well over 1,000 - despite only entering the competition to raise money for the Rainbow Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Eglinton.

He has already raised hundreds for the local animal rescue charity with his race, which he ran wearing number 39 - on his 39th birthday.

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His time, 2:51:38, came in around 25 minutes shy of the Walled City Marathon’s overall winner, Freddie Sittuk from Kenya. What makes Bruce’s performance even more remarkable, though, is the fact that he almost pulled out of the race altogether after losing two nights’ sleep through toothache in the days leading up to the big day.

After returning from the dentist, Bruce, with swollen mouth, told the Sentinel: “I’ve always been a fairly good runner but I hadn’t run a marathon in six years.

“I didn’t think I would be able to run at all because in the run-up to it I hadn’t slept in two days. I’ve had this toothache - I’ve been suffering with a sore head for about two months and I’d been to the doctor and everything - and then this toothache came on me. I was lying there thinking, I can’t do it, but it was for charity, so I just had to get on with it.

“It really was a great day, fantastic. I wasn’t expecting to run as well as I did. The people were so supportive, all the way around. Running over that Peace Bridge - and getting to the end to hear the roar of the people - it was amazing.”

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Bruce explained his reasons for supporting the animal rescue centre: ““They do such great work at the Rainbow rehoming centre and animals are often overlooked, especially in harder times. I believe that all animals deserve (and desire) a home with food,warmth and love just as we humans do and so I’m hoping to raise money to help the Centre continue their great work with the local dogs and cats that have had a bad time and in need of help.

“My fiancée and I share our home with a rescue dog called Charlie who is now 13 and a constant friend and source of laughter. Also four feral cats also live with us and are always getting into mischief and adventure, three of the cats were neutered by the centre a few years ago, the other turned up recently as a kitten in a car engine all covered in oil and cowering. All are happy, well fed and loved here.”

I know the Rainbow Centre are always looking for all the help they can get.”