A keen runner has mapped out a ‘London Marathon’ route to fulfill a pledge to raise funds for his brother who died from a rare genetic condition.
Police officer Matt Legg will run the 26.2 miles from Southwater to Goring in memory of brother Mark who suffered from Noonan Syndrome, a growth and developmental disorder.
Mark was featured on an episode of Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E when his life was saved after he suffered severe breathing difficulties. The 33-year-old died in April last year from an epileptic seizure seven months after the episode was filmed.
“Mark was an incredible guy and had a smile on his face and a happy attitude despite the difficulties of his condition,” said 36-year-old Matt, from Horsham.
“I pledged to do the London Marathon in his name and to raise funds for the Noonan Syndrome Association. I got a place in this year’s event and felt I couldn’t let him down when it was cancelled because of the pandemic.”
The Virgin Money London Marathon is staging a virtual marathon where participants are given 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete a course of their choosing on Sunday, October 4. All finishers will receive a medal and commemorative t-shirt.
Matt has plotted a route along the South Down’s trail which starts at Southwater Cricket Club and finishes on the seafront at Goring and he will be accompanied by other runners on stages of the course. He sets out at 8am and is hoping to finish by 12.30pm.
“Some fellow runners are doing the full marathon with me while others will join in along the way,” he added. “It’s not a marshalled course but friends and family will be on the route in places to offer support.
“Ive raised just over £7,000 so far for a great cause and charity.”
Noonan Syndrome, which has no cure, affects around one in 2,000 people in the UK and has a broad spectrum of symptoms and growth issues. Mark, who was best man at Matt’s wedding, was an independent spirit and got a job and a supported-living flat despite coping with deteriorating health and regular seizures.
“There was no question he was going to be best man at my wedding and his speech was hilarious,” added Matt. “He came on my stag weekend and we dressed as Batman and Robin which was another great memory of an amazing person who made the best from life and always saw the best in people.
“He will definitely be my motivation and inspiration along the route.”
The London Marathon elite race will still take place on the streets of the capital on October 4 but the next mass running of the iconic event is not planned until October 2021.