About 38,000 runners in the final stages of preparing for this year’s London Marathon can take heart from an important man on the inside track.
Iain Hook (64), who moved to South Holland from Derbyshire just four months ago, is a director of London Marathon Events Limited which organises the 36-year-old race and seven other annual mass participation events.
But this year, Mr Hook will be putting in the same effort as all the runners, including 11 people from south-east Lincolnshire featured in the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian since January.
Mr Hook said: “On Sunday, April 23, you will see a city with 38,000 runners telling their own story on the day.
“It’s about people coming from different parts of the world for what they say is the greatest marathon in the world.
“For me, it’s also about recognising the valuable contribution that the London Marathon makes as the biggest one-day fundraising event in the world.
“When people run the London Marathon, it’s the only event in the sporting calendar where you can run next to a MP, an Olympic hero, or a TV or film celebrity.
“It’s a very unique, humbling privilege to be on the start line, waiting for the gun to go off as you come across characters you may never see again.”
Mr Hook’s involvement with the London Marathon came about through his career in local government and leisure management.
He said: “I did running at school, but I was more of a mountaineer until I had a climbing accident some years ago.
When people run the London Marathon, it’s the only event in the sporting calendar where you can run next to a MP, an Olympic hero, or a TV or film celebrityIain Hook, a director of London Marathon Events Limited
“The doctors said I’d never be able to walk again without a stick, but then your career takes off and you do various things.
“For 17 years, I worked in the London Borough of Hackney, representing the chief executives of the London authorities because of my background in sport.
“Then I moved out of London and was a director of a leisure management body where my role was to work with the leisure facility managers in and out of London.
“When a representative from the London authorities was needed to work on the London Marathon to offer support and advice about the event, I was asked to come on board.”
As well as London, Mr Hook is also an ambassador for the Berlin, Boston, Chicago, New York and Tokyo marathons which, together with London, make up the ‘World Marathon Majors.’
A year ago, Mr Hook joined the ‘Six Star Finishers’ club after completing all six big city marathons in just 17 months.
But, he said: “It’s not about Iain Hook, but the runners in this area and many more like them who it will be great to see running on April 23.”