Runner Duncan Wright completed the New York City Marathon in five-and-a-half hours, so far raising more than £4,000 for Cancer Research UK.
It was the Spalding man’s marathon hat-trick, having conquered London in 2006 and 2011.
Duncan (51) achieved his ambition of running every single step and was moved to tears by the many social media posts and support from people at home in Spalding, which saw some using a tracker app to follow his every step around the Big Apple.
“Time was not important to me,” said Duncan. “But I would have been absolutely gutted if I’d walked at all.”
He set off in rain, which meant he couldn’t see the Manhattan skyline, and says the main difference between the New York and London events is the noise because there are bands and DJs all along the Big Apple route apart from on the bridges.
Another key difference is the climbs for the bridges because the course isn’t as flat as London.
Duncan said: “I was prepared for them but they were still quite a challenge, in particular Queensborough Bridge because it went on for ever.
“New York is also slightly different from London because, after the finish, I had another half-a-mile walk to walk before I got out of the whole secure area and that’s by design. It’s designed to keep you moving, rather than just collapse in a heap.”
The boss of Timber Windows UK Ltd experienced mixed feelings as he hit the finish.
“I suppose it was relief, mainly, a bit of everything,” he said. “It’s relief, pride, humility. It’s such an emotional thing, the whole process. I was fairly slow. Five-and-a-half hours is quite a long time to be running and there are months of running before that. I think the emotions are up and down and all over the place.”
At the forefront of his mind were friends fighting cancer, including one who recently sadly lost the battle.
Organisers hand out a goodie bag to finishers, which includes an energy drink, water and, fittingly for New York, an apple.
“The apple was the sweetest thing I ever tasted,” said Duncan. “It was the first thing I ate.”
Sweeter still is the total raised for Cancer Research UK.
Duncan is keeping his appeal open for a few weeks and is thrilled with the sum given so far which, with Gift Aid, takes him to more than £4,000.
His original target was £2,500.
Duncan and friend Ian Haynes began raising money for Cancer Research in 2011 after Ian had a cancer diagnosis and the pair had collected a staggering £20,000 before the New York Marathon, with much of it coming their annual February 1980s parties.
Ian sprang a wonderful surprise by flying to New York to cheer Duncan on and appeared in several spots on the route.
Duncan is grateful everyone who donated, family, friends and the strangers who have given because their lives have been touched by cancer.
Every penny donated for his marathon venture goes to the charity because Duncan’s travel was sponsored by Sean Hook, of Consolium Wealth Ltd, and he stayed with family in the USA.
• To donate please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/duncanwright2017
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