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Pangbourne restaurant owner braves London Marathon in father's memory





A Pangbourne restaurant owner has raised over £20,000 running the London Marathon to support the hospice that cared for his late father.

Nino Bartolomei, 26, ran on Sunday in memory of his father, Nino Senior, who opened 11 Italian restaurants across his 50 year career.

His father became terminally ill in October 2017 and was admitted to the Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice before dying in March 2018.

Nino Bartolomei at the London Marathon
Nino Bartolomei at the London Marathon

Mr Bartolomei completed the 26.2 mile distance in five hours and 26 minutes and exceeded his original £5,000 fundraising target by more than £15,000.

Mr Bartolomei now runs Nino's Trattoria, where he organises charitable menus and coffee mornings and said there were challenges training alongside managing his father's restaurant.

"I always heard it was very difficult to get a place, so when I applied, I didn't think I was going to be accepted," he added. "But when you run through a charity, especially because we had the affiliation already, they offered me a place straight away.

"I think the longest run I'd ever done before was 11 miles. I had an injury in my left knee, so every time I ran a longer distance, I was really struggling."

Nino Junior and Nino Senior
Nino Junior and Nino Senior

Mr Bartolomei, whose participation was postponed from 2020 until 2022 due to the pandemic, added: "I think the delay has been good for fundraising as it has raised awareness for what I am doing here.

"There are plenty of people in the Reading area who loved my dad and would visit the restaurant every year.

"I don't think I can top it. The day was amazing. I gave it everything I had and it all went the way I wanted it to.

"We raised over £2,000 at our recent Macmillan coffee morning. We collaborated with our local bakery, Birch Bread, who donated loads of tasty cakes and brownies. That was quite unique, because in previous years we did all the baking ourselves in-house.

"Our record one was in 2019, which raised about £3,500."

Nino after finishing the London Marathon
Nino after finishing the London Marathon

Georgia Thornton, community fundraiser at the hospice, said: "Congratulations to Nino for completing the London Marathon in support of our hospice. We are so in awe of his continued dedication and commitment to accomplishing this challenge.

"With help from our generous supporters, our nurses and healthcare teams can continue to fill people's last days with love and help give their families a better goodbye."



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