London Marathon gran from Ancaster runs for Parkinsons

A 67 year old gran from Ancaster has successfully completed the London Marathon for charity at her first attempt.

Elizabeth Hesselworth with her tortoise back pack at the start of the London Marathon
Elizabeth Hesselworth with her tortoise back pack at the start of the London Marathon

Elizabeth Hesselworth finally achieved her ambition to take part in the famous run on Sunday, October 2.

Prior to this, Elizabeth's first race as an adult - and her first ever marathon - was when she completed The Virtual London Marathon in October 2020, in aid of Parkinson's UK.

Doing the real thing for the same cause, Elizabeth said she found the 26.2 miles one of the best days of her life and the atmosphere and support was “fantastic”.

She finally crossed the line outside Buckingham Palace just 10 minutes before it closed, in a time of 8 hours, 39 minutes, commenting: "Not bad, considering the pain I was in early on, the fact that I am no athlete and a 67½ year old OAP called 'Tortoise Lizzy!”

Elizabeth, who wore a tortoise backpack all day, added: "It was brilliant, even though I was so slow. The first nine or 10 miles were incredibly gruelling as an ongoing thigh injury flared up early on and I found myself in significant pain.”

Painkillers, donations of ice from pubs on the route and ice packs from St John's Ambulance finally relieved the pain from about Mile 11.

"Parkinson's UK is such a worthy cause and every donation helps to finally find a cure for this debilitating condition,” she said.

Elizabeth has raised £3,702 for Parkinson's UK from the two runs. Donate at: events.parkinsons.org.uk/fundraisers/elizabethhesselworth