Marathon mates get set to swap the pavements of Buckingham for streets of London

Running buddies will be competing in this weekend’s London Marathon for separate charities
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A pair of friends who are regularly seen running together on the streets of Buckingham will be taking to the streets of the capital to compete in the London Marathon on Sunday, April 23.

Doreen Sams, aged 60, and Siobhan Sithole, 32, first started running together just before Covid struck, and during that time they have run in over a dozen half marathons and shared many miles of chat, laughter and even tears.

Doreen, who first stared running in the 1990s, ran her first marathon in the inaugural Milton Keynes event in 2012 and her first London Marathon in 2021, which was delayed due to Covid.

Doreen Sams, left, and Siobhan SitholeDoreen Sams, left, and Siobhan Sithole
Doreen Sams, left, and Siobhan Sithole

Doreen and Siobhan have been marathon training off and on for three years, since they first met, supporting and encouraging each other.

Droeen said: "Siobhan had never ran when we met up, but she's half my age and fitter than me so she was able to catch up very quickly.

"We have a good running friendship, even though she's young enough to be my daughter! We have a laugh, and that is the most important thing.”

Siobhan and Doreen both obtained charity places for last year’s London Marathon, but Doreen was unable to run due to injury, and deferred her place. Siobhan, who was running to support Age UK, ran it in an impressive 4hrs 29 mins.

In this Sunday’s race, keen rugby fan Doreen will be supporting the RFU’s Injured Players Foundation (IPF), which supports injured players from grassroots to professional level as well as investing in research and injury prevention.

Siobhan, who is a registered care manager, will be running to raise funds for Scope UK, the disability equality charity.

The friends began training for this year’s marathon in January, and can be seen pounding the pavements of Buckingham four times a week, usually before work.

They both say they are excited and looking forward to Sunday’s race – but mostly looking forward to having a rest from marathon training – for a few weeks at least.