THE GRUELLING heat at the London Marathon may have taken its
toll on Joe Fletcher's bid to complete the race in under four
hours, but it couldn't stop the Moira man who ran the 26 miles
on behalf of the charity Diamond Blackfan Anaemia UK in four
hours 42 minutes.
Joe, who was on the course during the most
difficult conditions with temperatures soaring to 23 degree
centigrade, had been training since October but nothing had
prepared him for the sweltering heat. "The last three miles were
very difficult as my energy levels were low. It was very warm
but I was determined I was not going to give in," he said. "The
crowds were very supportive and encouraging. The atmosphere was
very good and there is a terrific sensation when you complete it
but it is hard.'
Joe has previously taken part in the Great North Run and the
Lisburn Half Marathon and was only asked in October to run for
the DBA UK after their nominated runner was injured in a car
He and his wife Julie joined the charity after their son
Joshua was diagnosed with the incurable blood disorder. His
sister Jodie became the first 'saviour sibling' conceived in the
UK after the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
granted the Fletchers permission to have a tissue-matched baby.
Joe hopes to have raised £2,000 and said he has been
overwhelmed with the support from his children's school. The P4s
at Meadowbridge Primary held a bun sale and raised £100 while
members of the PTA sponsored him. Joe's wife Julie and their son
Adam now plan to do the 10k run in the Lisburn Half Marathon.