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‘When I came round, they were covering me with ice and dousing me with water.’

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A lifelong dream turned sour for a West Norfolk runner when he collapsed close to the finish of the weekend’s London Marathon.

David Blackmore is recovering after suffering heatstroke – for which emergency volunteers covered him in ice – during the event yesterday.

He took to social media last night to thank the St John Ambulance volunteers who helped him from the course.

David Blackmore posted this image on social media after collapsing with heatstroke during the London Marathon (51899560)
David Blackmore posted this image on social media after collapsing with heatstroke during the London Marathon (51899560)

But, despite being left “confused and dazed” by his experience, he is determined to return to the capital – and finish the course – in 12 months’ time.

He said yesterday: “It does feel like unfinished business.”

A keen runner and cyclist, David completed a 1,000 mile challenge covering the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats when he finished Lynn’s GEAR 10k race in August.

But London was his first marathon and training for the big day had been disrupted by injuries including a stressed pelvis.

“I knew that when I got to about 16 miles I didn’t know what was going to happen from there and I was like, ‘Just keep pushing’.

“It was quite cool when we started but it got hotter and hotter.”

And, despite running further than he ever had before in one session, he revealed he couldn’t remember covering more than two miles of the 26.2 mile course before his collapse.

He said: “I can’t really remember anything from about 22 miles.

“One minute I was running and I was fine and the next minute I was in a St John Ambulance tent and I didn’t really understand what was going on.

“It was 24 and a half miles where they found me and I don’t recall what happened.

“They told me they found me slumped on a barrier and they had to stretcher me using a tarpaulin because I couldn’t move.

“When I came round, they were covering me in ice and dousing me in water.”

Once he had recovered, he was asked if he wanted to walk the remaining distance but said he couldn’t because of exhaustion.

However, despite feeling “deflated” by how his marathon experience ended and still experiencing what he described as a “brain fog”, David, who ran as part of the Macmillan Cancer Support team, said he had mixed emotions afterwards.

“Twenty four and a half miles is more than I’ve ever run before. There’s a feeling of pride, as well as disappointment.”

“It’s been my lifelong dream since I was a boy. It was great to be part of the event.

“It took me 17 years to get a space. I will apply, of course, for next year.”

Traditionally held in the spring, the marathon was staged in October for the second successive year due to coronavirus.

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