LONDON Marathon man Dan Steele proved himself a Man of Steel on Sunday when he ran the bulk of the gruelling race with a sprained ankle.
When he trod on a bottle about a quarter of the way into the 26.2 miles, he felt a sharp pain in his ankle, but ran gamely on to make the finishing line.
Said Dan, “I have plenty of experience in running marathons, and maybe I should have avoided the incident - especially in the London Marathon where runners simply toss the empty water bottles aside, and they clutter up the course.”
Dan, who was running on behalf of the Down’s Syndrome Association, had the experience to stay clear of the side of the road where most of the discarded bottles gather, but a stray one in the centre of the road caught him out.
“It happened at the Cutty Sark section of the course,” he said. “The ship looked terrific and I had to have a look, but in that few seconds I trod on a bottle, my ankle went and I was really painful.”
He managed to run the worst of it off within a couple of miles and then ran gamely on to complete the course with the “ankle not too bad at the stage, but it certainly slowed me down”.
However, it hasn’t slowed down the generous contributions of his supporters, as he has passed his £1,500 target, pushing towards the £2,000 mark -and more would be welcome. Donations can be made via http://justgiving.com/Dan-Steele.
Dan was the only Northern Ireland runner to be selected by the association, and he was keen to compete as his four-year-old son David is a Down’s Syndrome child, and he especially received the backing of wife Lyn and their other two children Aaron (13) and Owen (8).
Said Dan, “The London Marathon is superbly organised, but with 40,000 runners working up a thirst, bottles are a real problem and will have to be solved. Still, I was delighted to have completed the course and with the generosity of my backers.”
It brings to £40,000 the amount he has raised for charity by marathon running over the years.