A warehouse worker from Holbeach has the ultimate reason to run and finish next month’s London Marathon.
Steve Tucker (44) is in for “exciting and emotional” day on the capital’s streets when he joins at least 38,000 other runners on Sunday, April 24.
The National Autistic Society, for people diagnosed with autism, Asperger syndrome and other behavioural conditions, will hope to receive £2,000 from people sponsoring Steve whose son James (20) was diagnosed with Asperger’s and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) last year.
After my son was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and ADHD, I wanted to do the London Marathon for himSteve Tucker
Steve said: “I love watching athletics but I fell out of love with the sport because of the drugs problem.
“I was so disillusioned with athletics for 22 years until the London Olympics in 2012.
“Then my wife Sue, wh had done Race for Life in 2008, asked me if I wanted to go for a run with her.
“Since the Great Eastern Run in October 2012, I’ve done three marathons and eight half-marathons.
“But this is the big one for James and the National Autistic Society.”
Steve’s passion for distance running represents a real turnaround in his life after a habit which had seen him smoke between 40 and 60 cigarettes a day.
“I was worried about my health for a couple of years after I found that I was having trouble breathing when I wasn’t even 40 yet,” Steve said.
“When I lay in bed at night, I could hear my chest rattling and on one weekend, I was ill and in bed for two days.
“Eventually when I got up, I realised that I’d not had a cigarette for 36 hours so I wondered how long I could keep it up for.”
Steve smoked his last cigarette on June 24 2012, the same day as James’s 17th birthday and just five weeks before the Olympics Games got under way in London.
“I went out running a few times after the Olympics and did my first half-marathon in Peterborough in October 2012,” James said.
“Then I did a run for Cancer Research UK after losing my aunt, father-in-law and grandad, all to cancer, raising £1,000 for the charity.
“In April 2014, I ran my first London Marathon for Diabetes Uk after Sue was diagnosed with type one diabetes and I raised £2,200.
“But after my son was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and ADHD, I wanted to do the London Marathon for him.
“It’s a privilege and an honour to do it and, with my family coming down to London, it’ll be an exciting and emotional day.”
To sponsor Steve, visit https://nas-london-marathon-2016.everydayhero.com/uk/steve