Fundraiser Michael swaps the London Marathon for the Longton Marathon

Michael Fish couldn't get to the London Marathon yesterday, so he did the Longton Marathon instead.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 5:48 pm
Michael with wife Amanda and children Alice and Rose celebrate with supporters on the finish line at the Lemon Tree cafe/bar in Longton.

And after clocking a creditable four-and-a-half hours for the 26.2 mile course for charity he declared: "Who knows, this could become an annual event."

Michael, 42, was accompanied by supporters on parts of the run, including his five-year-old daughter Alice. She covered 1.2 miles alongside him to raise funds for the Stroke Association for the love of her grandma.

Michael's mother-in-law Sandra Hurst was taken seriously ill earlier this year at the age of 68 and is recovering slowly in a nursing home in Much Hoole. The last leg of the marathon went past the home where Sandra was able to watch from her bedroom window.

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Michael crosses the finish line in Longton with his last lap running mate Ben Wolfenden after the gruelling two-day fundraiser.

Computer software executive Michael had been accepted for the London Marathon, but had to withdraw because he couldn't keep up the arduous training regime this year due to family circumstances.

Instead he decided to do his version of the big event around his home village, broken up into eight segments over two days, starting and ending at the Lemon Tree cafe/bar.

And after completing the final leg on Sunday afternoon he confessed: "That was tough, really tough. But I can now say I've won the Longton Marathon - from a field of one.

"I was absolutely shattered after Saturday's 16.1 miles. I was in agony. I went to bed at 8pm and in the middle of the night I didn't know whether I'd be able to complete it or not, I felt that bad.

"I was in so much pain with my back, I couldn't stand up and I struggled to get out of bed. But once I'd got going again it wasn't too bad.

"I've got blistered feet and every muscle in my body aches - in fact I'm off home to bed now. But I'm so chuffed I managed to do it."

Michael's total time for the eight laps came to 4 hours 36 minutes. "If I'd done that in the actual London Marathon without a break I'd have been over the moon," he said.

Wife Amanda was at the Lemon Tree to greet him when his marathon was done. His efforts are expected to raise more than £2,200 for the charity.

"We're all so proud of him. It means a lot for him to do this for the Stroke Association after what happened to mum," said Amanda.

Michael had hoped to have Monday off work to rest up after his exhausting weekend, but it wasn't to be.

He faced a marathon commute at 7am to get to his office . . . down in London.