A determined Leighton Buzzard mum completed the London Marathon in memory of a close family friend who lost his battle with cancer.
Katie King ran the famous 26.2 mile course to raise money for Willen Hospice, who helped her chum Tim Gross during the final days of his fight with oropharyngeal cancer.
Despite injuring her left leg before the big day, Katie powered through the streets and raised just over £1,800, beating her original £500 target by miles.
She said: “Towards the end, I saw my friend Pauline and we ran down The Mall together, saw Buckingham Palace, and crossed the finish line saying: ‘ahh, we just did that for real!’
“It was such an amazing experience - different to anything I have ever experienced.”
Katie describes feeling many emotions en route, and with an IT band strain hurting her left leg, she was glad to see so many familiar faces cheering her on.
Katie’s friend Zoe was waiting as a surprise, her training group Redway Runners were stood at various points, and her partner Brett was based near the Willen Hospice team at mile 25.
Katie said: “I didn’t know Zoe was going to be there! She gave me a cuddle and lots of sweets. Seeing her made my cry, but I’d been in a lot of pain and she helped me to keep on running.
“When I turned round the corner and saw Tower Bridge that also took my breath away.”
She added: “By mile 18 I was delirious, but when I got to Brett he said ‘come on, nearly there, just need to get it done’. That’s what we always say to each other!
“I thought of Tim when I went over London Bridge and I recommend this to anyone, so long as you enjoy running and you’ve got the drive to go out and train when it’s snowing and freezing cold.”
Katie would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported her and who came to her fitness fundraiser, with special thanks to Lucy (Zumba) and her work colleagues Tracey and Chris at Brooklands Middle School.