Harpenden London Marathon runner overcomes injury to finish race in wife’s memory

Paul Sutton.

Paul Sutton. - Credit: Archant

A determined London Marathon runner overcame a chronic leg injury to reach the finish line on Sunday.

Paul Sutton.

Paul Sutton. - Credit: Archant

Paul Sutton was raising funds for Rennie Grove Hospice in memory of his late wife Antonella, but was struck with severe pain and cramping in his right leg after completing 12 miles.

He said: “I knew it would be impossible to walk from that point so I carried on running, albeit in considerable pain. By mile 21 my leg had clearly had enough and it started to cramp badly so I ended up having to walk for three miles. I was damned though if I was going to walk down the Mall at the finish and so I ‘ran’ the last two miles and was awarded my finisher’s medal.

“Given everything that had happened it mattered hugely to get to the finish line, not only to vindicate everyone who sponsored me but also because in running the marathon in memory of Antonella and for Rennie Grove Hospice Care there was no way I wasn’t going to see it through to the end! It was such an amazing day.”

Antonella was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal endometrial cancer in 2011. Before her passing in 2013 she was cared for Rennie Grove, and afterwards Paul was supported by Rennie Grove bereavement counsellors as part of their family support programme.

Following the marathon, he said: “It was an incredible, emotion-filled day, especially as the day afterwards (April 24) marked four years since Antonella died.”

Rennie Grove Jenny Provin said: “Paul and the whole team have done a brilliant job with their training and their fundraising. Their achievements will make such a difference to families affected by cancer and other life-limiting illness.”

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Paul’s next challenge for the charity will be Prudential RideLondon, a 100 mile cycle between London and Surrey in July and then the Herts 10k run in October.

If you’ve been inspired, join Paul and register now here.