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A world record and a paralysed man eyes 35 hour finish - Norfolk runners in the London Marathon

PUBLISHED: 21:54 22 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:09 23 April 2018

Simon Kindleysides is aiming to be the first paralysed man to complete the London marathon in an exoskeleton suit. Picture: Simon Kindleysides

Simon Kindleysides is aiming to be the first paralysed man to complete the London marathon in an exoskeleton suit. Picture: Simon Kindleysides

Archant

Runners from Norfolk pounded the tarmac of London in 23C heat today raising thousands of pounds for good causes.

One secured a world record - and another is still going.

Simon Kindleysides, 33, who is paralysed from the waist down, will embark on the second leg of his marathon attempt tomorrow morning after walking 13.5 miles in an exoskeleton suit over 10 hours today.

And Stacey Harper is now in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest woman to run the marathon dressed as Elvis.

Father-of-three Mr Kindleysides, from Blofield, was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder and a glioma brain tumour in 2013, leaving him unable to walk.

By 6pm he was on his seventh mile but was half an hour ahead of his expected time, and said the support has been “incredible”.

“I am pressing on and not really thinking about how far I have got to go,” he said. “I am walking right through until midnight and then do the whole thing again from 3am.

“People have been wonderful - bringing over donations and saying I am an inspiration.

“I can’t put into words what it will mean to finish without crying. It has always been a dream of mine to do a marathon when I was able bodied, and after I never thought it would be possible other than in a wheelchair.

Stacey Harper finished the London Marathon in 3hrs 49 mins and secured a world record. Picture: Stacey HarperStacey Harper finished the London Marathon in 3hrs 49 mins and secured a world record. Picture: Stacey Harper

“It would never occur to me I could walk a marathon while paralysed. It just shows anything is possible.”

Meanwhile 40-year-old Stacey Harper from Old Catton is raising money to help pay for life-saving treatment for her seven-year-old nephew, Harry Addy.

With a time of 3hrs 49mins she became the fastest woman to complete the marathon in an Elvis costume.

“It was a lot hotter than I was expecting it to be but it was good and I got it done,” she said afterwards.

“The wig was probably the worst bit. I knew I couldn’t take it off or I would lose the record. The more water I put on the heavier the costume got.

“I got quite bad cramp at mile 16 so had to get some medical help but I recovered well after that.”

She added the support was “absolutely amazing”.

“I have never done it in fancy dress before,” she said. “I got so much support from people the whole way round and everyone was cheering and that kept me going.

Martin Andrews and Richard Philpott completed the London Marathon in 5.31:33. Picture: Martin AndrewsMartin Andrews and Richard Philpott completed the London Marathon in 5.31:33. Picture: Martin Andrews

“I got people singing Elvis songs at me and lots of support.
“It is such a different feeling to get a world record at the end of a marathon.”

Martin Andrews ran his 10th - and last - London marathon this year dressed in a full Norwich City kit.

The 48-year-old ,from Caister-on-Sea, raced with his colleague Richard Philpott, running his second marathon, with a time of 5hrs and 31mins.

Rachel Hirst, who lives near Loddon, completed the race in 5hrs 44mins.

It was the 53-year-old’s second marathon, after she entered the Edinburgh Marathon in May 2017, but afterwards she said “never again”.

The Bungay Black Dog Running Club member is raising money for the Norfolk and Norwich Association for The Blind, which her husband Tim is a trustee of.

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