The man who ran 30 marathons in 30 days ended his challenge with his fastest finishing time yet, completing the London Marathon in 2h 55m 16s yesterday.
Matthew Loddy, 47, began the superhuman task to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of former work colleague at Berkhamsted’s Framework Scaffolding Contractors Phil Latham.
Phil died of stomach cancer aged 36 in 2010. Before his death, he had made a slight recovery from the condition and the pair began planning a walk from Portugal to London to raise cash for charity.
When doctors then discovered the cancer had spread, Matthew said to Phil: “You have let me down. Now I’ll just have to do the fundraiser myself - and I’ll have to run it.”
The promise led Matthew to complete 100 marathons in 100 days last year – he raised £100,000 for The Hospice of St Francis in Northchurch and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Matthew said: “I would like to think Phil would be quite pleased that I have managed to achieve what I said I would do, and that he would be pleased that we are raising money in his memory.
“He would probably be laughing at the fact that he has kept making me do these things.”
He hopes to raise £150,000 for charity in Phil’s memory this year – as well as raising corporate awareness for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
His daughters India, 21, and Jemima, 17, joined him for parts of his challenge – and wife Karen, 47, was also very supportive.
Matthew said: “My family just thought it was a good idea. They have been very worried and are quite happy it’s over and we have talked about not doing anything like this again.
“I do not intend to run multiple marathons again, but I will keep running.”
Matthew, of Watford Road, Kings Langley, celebrated by having a few beers with other members of his Hemel Hempstead running club the Gade Valley Harriers yesterday.
He went to his local, the Saracen’s Head, in the evening.
He said the runners in yesterday’s London Marathon felt ‘much more connected’ after the bombings at the Boston Marathon last week.
He said: “I can’t believe someone has even thought about doing it, because it’s attacking every religion, race, men, women and children.
“You have got people raising money for charities and in memory of their loved ones and a marathon is not a stance to hit at.”
He said the crowds were ‘incredible’ and lined the streets throughout yesterday’s 26.2-mile landmark event, helping him achieve his best marathon finishing time yet.
He said: “Sometimes you have got to really grind out a run and work as hard as you can to get going. I got the rhythm quickly and was not puffing and panting at all.”
Donate to Matthew’s cause at www.frameworkfoundation.co.uk
> In other London Marathon news, Phil Robbins of Highfield Road, Berkhamsted, failed in his attempt to break the record for fastest marathon in a two-person pantomime outfit.
The 33-year-old – a local celebrity after running the Berkhamsted Half Marathon in a ‘mankini’ – took part in a camel suit with mate Matthew Hearne, from London.
You can sponsor the pair, who want to raise enough to pay for a new portable CT scanner at the Royal London Hospital, by clicking here.