Marathon goes swimmingly for lifeboat helmsman

Martin 'Myrtle' Croad with his London Marathon medal

Martin 'Myrtle' Croad with his London Marathon medal - Credit: Archant

Lyme Regis RNLI crew member Martin ‘Myrtle’ Croad says he can’t wait to compete in next year’s London race

Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat crew member Martin Croad crossed the finishing line in yesterday’s (Sunday) London Marathon and immediately pledged to do it all again.

He completed the race in 4hours 22minutes and 56 seconds, coming home in 15,969th place out of a field of 36,000.

“I shall be applying for a place in next year’s event as soon as possible,” he said afterwards.

Martin, known by his lifeboat colleagues and friends by his nickname of Myrtle, gave up smoking and lost four stones to enter the marathon after winning a place in the event in a draw held by members of the Axe Valley Runners.

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Father of two, Martin, a building site manager and volunteer helmsman with the Lyme Regis lifeboat, said: “The marathon was the toughest thing I have ever done.

“I hit the pain wall at 20 miles and thought that was it. But the crowd urged everyone on. There was music from bands along the route and everyone cheered us on, so I just kept going. They were giving us jelly babies and soft drinks, and then I saw Big Ben towards the end and knew I could do it.

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“Two years ago I couldn’t run a mile. But now I have completed 26.2 miles along with 35,000 others and it is just an amazing feeling.

“I wanted to do a time of four hours, and I nearly made it. I hope to do better next year.

“You can enter again for next year in a week from now, and I shall be having another attempt at beating that four hour target.”

Martin was raising money for the RNLI and the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

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