Huge congratulations and lots of admiration go to Golborne’s Andy Smullen, who last weekend completed the gruelling London Marathon – despite being struck down by serious back problems just a week before the race.
Andy had set himself the 26.2 mile challenge in the hopes of raising money for Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) – a charity which funds vital research into a condition which sadly affects the son of one of Andy’s good friends.
The 48-year-old dad of two was under no illusion that the marathon would be hard – even though he has completed seven of them before. Before the London Marathon, he told us that: “I’m a big guy and marathon finishes don’t come easy to me. I have to train hard”. But Andy was determined to cross the line, pick up another medal and help MDUK in the process.
However, that goal was looking very much in doubt in the week running up to the marathon, when Andy’s back problems meant he could hardly walk, let alone train.
Despite all that, Andy did make it to London – and with sheer determination, he managed to compete the marathon in 6 hrs 20 mins & 11 secs.
He said: “What an emotional rollercoaster of a weekend! A trapped nerve saw me barely unable to walk on Saturday after a week of back problems and I didn’t see how I could even make the start line, let alone the finish.
“Thankfully the problem eased overnight and I headed to the start line in Greenwich to set out to do a London Marathon that has been 24 months in the making.
“The result? One of my favourite marathons ever and around £2k raised for the legendary MDUK London Marathon #TeamOrange. An honour and a privilege to have played a small part in it.”
About Muscular Dystrophy UK
MDUK funds research into treatments for rare, life-limiting muscle-wasting conditions and supports the 70,000 children and adults in the UK who are affected by these conditions.
When lockdown first happened, the charity saw its income plunge by £2.4m overnight because of cancelled in-person fundraising events as a result of Covid-19.
Support Andy and Muscular Dystrophy UK
To support Andy, you can head to his online fundraising page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-smullen
Kiera Santry, Senior Challenge Events Officer for Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “Running the London Marathon is a monumental life achievement and a truly courageous thing to do. Before even reaching the start line runners must find the determination to dedicate months of the year to demanding training plans and work hard to reach and exceed their fundraising target.
“We are so grateful to Andy for choosing to raise funds and awareness on behalf of the charity which will help us continue supporting and improving the lives of thousands of families living with rare muscle-wasting conditions. Muscular Dystrophy UK is needed now more than ever, and the support of Andy means so much to us.”
Don’t miss: St Helens College School Leaver’s Open Event
If you, or someone you know, is currently thinking ahead to leaving school and wondering what to do next, come and look around St Helens College on 18 November 2021, from 5-7pm.
There will be plenty of tutors and students available to answer any questions that you may have about future careers, financial matters and the learning support available at the college.
There is also an opportunity to get involved with some exciting interactive activities and mini-taster sessions.