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News editor completes Marathon two years after course collapse

Nick GillThe news editor of two sister weeklies has successfully completed the London Marathon two years after collapsing on the course.

Nick Gill, pictured left, who works at The Comet in Stevenage and the Royston Crow, ran Sunday’s race in just over four hours.

After falling at the 18-mile mark in 2013, Nick completed this year’s challenge for St John Ambulance, the first aid charity which helped him following his collapse.

In a further twist, he ended up running the last 10 miles of this year’s race with childhood friend Kerry White, who had been cheering him on from the side of the road at the 17-mile mark two years ago, just before the place he had collapsed.

Nick told HTFP: “It’s difficult to describe the sense of joy – and relief – I felt when crossing the line and being handed my medal.

“Failing to finish two years ago was heartbreaking for me, but the support I received from St John Ambulance that day was never far from my thoughts as I made my way round this time.

“I wasn’t feeling at my best during the early miles so I made a conscious decision not to push myself too hard in pursuit of a sub four-hour time – finishing was always going to be far more important to me than how I actually achieved it.

“The day was made extra special thanks to the cheering St John volunteers that are a constant all around the course and running the last 10 miles with Kerry – it was quite emotional to pass the point where I collapsed but comforting to have someone who had been there in 2013 by my side.

“We made a pact to finish the race hand-in-hand together to mark the race’s 35th anniversary and I owe her much for her support when the going got tough. Just past the 20-mile mark I had a sharp pain of cramp in my right hamstring but, with Kerry encouraging me on, we slowed the pace and I was able to continue.

“I tried to repay that faith later in the race as Kerry began to struggle, and raising our hands aloft as we crossed the line was a special moment for us both.”

Nick has so far raised £1,400 for the St John Ambulance but is still accepting donations – all of which will be match funded by his papers’ parent company Archant.

He completed the course in four hours eight minutes 59 seconds.

Nick added: “It is a day that will live long in my memory and I am so thrilled I have been able to turn a scary experience into something positive, raising vital funds in the process.”

South Wales Argus journalist Chris Seal was also among those taking to the capital’s streets, finishing in three hours 42 minutes

He told his paper: “I can honestly say that this was the most amazing race I’ve ever taken part in.

“The weather might have been drizzly and overcast, but it didn’t stop the crowds coming out to support more than 35,000 runners.

“Personally I’m delighted with a 10-minute personal best and finishing my first marathon without walking any of it.

“I was aiming for sub three hours 30 minutes and was on course up until around mile 20, but I’m still chuffed to bits to achieve three hours 42 minutes 26 seconds.

“Despite hobbling across the finish leg with a seized up leg – and my legs feeling like lead right now – I still can’t wait to sign up for next year’s London Marathon.”

Former Romford Recorder sports reporter Gary Haines, who was running in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, for whom he now works as a PR manager, also completed the course.

Yesterday he wrote on Twitter: “The morning after the day before. London Marathon medal tucked into pocket and hauling my achy limbs to Prostate Cancer UK HQ.”

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  • April 28, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Congratulations. showed real guts. An example to us all.

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