MARATHON runners expect to go through pain, but for Graham Colborne that is an understatement.
Whilst some might have to nurse blisters or muscle strains during the race, the 49-year-old struggled around the course with a broken foot.
Graham endured agony with every step of the last 18 miles and 385 yards of the London Marathon after suffering the injury just eight miles into the London Marathon But it was the memory of his late mother that kept him going.
Graham, from Southampton, had been training since October for the 26.2-mile race on Sunday that saw thousands of people pound the pavements raising money for good causes.
But within two hoursdisaster struck when he trod on a full water bottle.
Although he managed not to fall, he knew immediately something was wrong as he felt “excruciating” pain.
St John Ambulance staff at the nine-mile mark strapped his foot up and gave him paracetamol.
But despite still being in severe pain, the factory worker was determined to cross the finish line.
Graham, who will now be in plaster and on crutches for six weeks, walked and ran for the next four-and-a-quarter hours in agony without telling friends or family as he did not want to worry them.
He admitted that at points he felt like giving up, but it was thinking of the mother he lost only two months ago that spurred him on.
Doreen Colborne, of Harefield, died in February aged 70 after suffering from lung and kidney cancer, and Graham was running to help Macmillan Cancer Support.
The charity is close to his heart as it was Macmillan nurses that helped care for his mother, who had planned to watch him race on television.
Graham had a final burst of adrenaline as he saw he was going to be overtaken by women carrying a wooden horse and was able to sprint the last 50 yards to the finish line, crossing in six hours 21 minutes.
But afterwards he was unable to walk and an x-ray at St Thomas’ Hospital in London later revealed the fracture.
“The doctor asked me how I carried on, and I don’t know – it was the adrenaline,” said Graham, of Barrow Down Gardens, Hightown.
“I took inspiration from my mum’s picture on my running shirt – every time I felt down I looked at it and it kept me going.
“She’d have been so proud.”
Although Graham’s efforts have raised nearly £1,800, he told the Daily Echo he would “never again” do another marathon.
To donate, log on to justgiving.com/graham-colborne1.