Three London Marathon medals came home to Catterall last Sunday after athletes competed for very special reasons.
Isaac Towers and his mother Catherine, from Catterall took part to raise money for Scope, while police officer Chris Smith ran to boost the funds of the hospital unit which saved his life.
Isaac, 14, set a new course record, winning the under 14s five km mini wheelchair marathon, in 13 minutes and 22 seconds. And to make the day even more memorable, the pupil of AKS in Lytham, was presented with his trophy by Prince Harry.
His mum took part in the 26.2 mile race for her first time to raise money for Scope, the charity supporting cerebral palsy, the condition Isaac has.
“I won’t be doing it again,” she said. “It was an experience, but I wanted to support Isaac and raise money for Scope. Isaac was thrilled to win his section and he wasn’t even overawed at meeting Prince Harry. He takes everything in his stride. Isaac is off to Italy and Switzerland soon to compete in more races.
He already holds national distance titles for his age group and hopes to qualify for the World championships.
Catherine wanted to raise funds for Scope which was very helpful to the family after Isaac was diagnosed with the condition.
If you would like to make a donation to Scope use uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CatherineTowers.
Chris Smith, also from Catterall, who had a brain tumour removed, was raising cash for the neurological unit at the Royal Preston Hospital and completed the course in five hours 20 minutes.
Dubbed ‘Robocop’ by his pals at work, because of the titanium plate fitted into his skull after surgery, he fought back to fitness in just over a year.
Training to run the marathon for the third time helped him back to full health and now he says he is fitter than he has ever been.
“I finished in just over five hours,” he said.
“I’d have done it faster but my Superman costume slowed me down a bit. Obviously, I hadn’t worn it while I was training, running up to Beacon Fell from home.
“I got it a little wrong on marathon day by setting off too fast. I was following the four hours 15 mins marker at first, but the crowd and the atmosphere encourages you to run harder and faster.
“The most difficult part is around the 19 to 20-mile mark, but if you get through that then there is just going to be another six miles or so and you know you can do it.
“The last mile, everyone tries to put a spurt on. The crowds cheering by that stage are fantastic and carry you on like a wave.”
To make a donation to Chris’s effort for the Royal Preston Hospital neurological unit, go to www.go