Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Marty does it!!

Published: 16 April 2008
Cowell's Garden Centre boss completes marathon in record time.
Marty does it!!
After two downpours, 26.2 miles and severe lower chafing, Martin Cowell completed the London Marathon in a personal best time of 3:47.

The Cowell's Garden Centre boss who was running for St Oswald’s – a purpose-built hospice in Gosforth, Northumberland providing care for adults and children in north east England – said the carnival atmosphere was 'fantastic' despite the rain, hail and generally soggy conditions.

Mr Cowell completed the first half of the race in 1:50 – and had his sights set on beating celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who finished in 3:45, before fatigue set in.

He said: "I was amazed. It was a great experience and the crowds were unbelievable from start to finish."

He continued: "I was just grinding out the last four miles – there was nothing left in tank – but the crowds, the all-round support and adrenaline kept me going.

"I was slightly disappointed not to beat Gordan Ramsay, but there's always next year – and this time with more vaseline."


Mr Cowell said his efforts will spur him on to race overseas in Berlin or even New York in the future.

Later this year he will attempt his first off-road triathlon – a considerable achievement for a man whom quit smoking just five years ago, and started training for the 26.2 at the back end of 2007.

"Overall, I'm really chuffed," he said. "I'm still buzzing even though the marathon blues are setting in – it's strange, you miss the training."

Mr Cowell told he wants to extend a big thank you to everyone that sponsored him, but added that with 58 days to go before the donation period ends, there's still time for further donations so he can hit his £3,000 target.

He said: "Thank you once again for sponsoring me and helping to make a difference to lots of lives. If you know someone who would like to donate to St Oswalds Hospice to help me reach my target please do so – there's still time.

"Once again, many thanks."

To help Mr Cowell please click this link and click on the ticker on the home page. would like to congratulate all those in the diy, garden, and housewares trade that completed the marathon.

Anyone who wants to relay their marathon story please e-mail


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