A Barnoldswick man completed the London Marathon in an impressive time just weeks after a four-month lay-off with an ankle problem.
Tom Stephens (22), of Gisburn Road, Barnoldswick, completed Sunday’s London Marathon in 4hrs 29mins, just 10 weeks after returning from a torn ankle ligament which meant he only had time to train up to the 12-mile mark.
Tom, who works as a supervisor at Rolls-Royce Leisure Centre, ran his first ever distance run in a pink tutu and gloves, something which was decided upon by his friends.
But there was also a serious reason for tackling the 26.2 mile challenge, and that was to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, of which £500 has been collected so far.
Tom, who also plays football for Rolls FC and Barlick Barons, was back in the town on Tuesday for an intense massage to soothe his aches and pains, partly due to suffering with plantar fasciitis, a chronic heel condition, which went undiagnosed for 12 years. Tom said: “I could only start training 10 weeks before and any time targets went out of the window and I got to the point where I just wanted to finish it.
“I didn’t know it was going to be so hot. It was amazing though. You set off in the suburbs and it’s quite quiet but after five or six miles it’s three or four people deep all the way and they never stop cheering you on.
“I felt fine after 17 or 18 miles but I hit a wall at 22 miles. I wanted to finish it in under four-and-a-half hours if possible. The last three or so miles were my quickest of the whole race. It almost killed me.
“It’s fantastic to raise money for such a great cause. The Alzheimer’s Society fund carers as well as research. I lost my nan to it and it was horrible. So much of Alzheimer’s goes undiagnosed.
“There’s still some to collect. I set my target at £500 so I’ve smashed that already. I want to raise as much money as I can now.”
To donate to Tom’s effort, go online at www.justgiving.com/Tom-Stephens7