A record number of runners took part in the London Marathon on Sunday, with 50,000 people taking to the capital’s streets.

Among the inspirational participants there were hundreds from Liverpool and the surrounding areas raising money for worthy causes.

There were world records, record times and personal stories. All of which combined to make this year’s event one of the most successful ever.

A paramedic from the North West Air Ambulance charity, Caroline Duncan, aimed to set a new world record.

Caroline Duncan. Photography: Caroline Duncan

She set out to raise money for the charity whilst becoming the fastest runner to complete a marathon in a full flight suit.

The suit consisted of a flame-retardant jumpsuit, boots and a helmet – totalling 4kg of extra weight to carry around the 26.2 mile course.

She told MerseyNewsLive: “I really enjoyed the race until about mile 20 and then I started to struggle.

“I was feeling the effects of wearing the boots as my legs started to hurt quite a bit.

“But I came home with an official Guinness world record!”

So far, Caroline has raised just under £3,000, exceeding her target of £500 and then some.

Caroline Duncan. Photography: Caroline Duncan

Neil Ryder, a grieving dad from Liverpool, had a personal reason for taking part.

He ran in memory of his late son, Lucas, who he lost after a 19-day battle on the neonatal ward at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

In an extraordinary show of generosity, he reached out to other parents who had been through the same experience and offered to include their child’s name on his running vest.

Including Lucas’, Neil carried 32 names with him as he completed the gruelling course.

Neil Ryder. Photography: Neil Ryder

He said: “Having the babies’ names on my back helped keep me strong.

“It was a very emotional finish, I’ve done a marathon before but this one meant so much more to me.

“The other parents are so pleased that they’ve been able to share the journey with me.”

Neil had a fundraising target of £1,900; £100 for every day of Lucas’ life.

He’s already smashed that target with over £2,500 raised.

Neil’s running vest. Photography: Neil Ryder

But he has no plans to stop there with the Bolton half-Ironman coming up later this year.

The race consists of a half marathon, 66 mile cycle and 1.2 mile swim.


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