Hopalong success in London run

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It takes a brave person to run a marathon — and an even braver one to do it in crutches.

Louisa Hatfield refused to surrender when a fractured heel bone threatened her London dream.

The 24-year-old southsider, a former pupil at Hutchesons’ Grammar school, pledged to run six marathons in a year to raise money for Yorkhill hospital.

She told The Extra: “My nephew, Mitchell, was born there last September with a heart condition that required surgery when he was two days old.

“The hospital were a huge support to my brother David and his wife Lynsey. I wanted to do my part to raise money and awareness for a wonderful charity.”

After completing the New York and Dubai Marathons, things went awry during the Barcelona race.

After hobbling over the line in four hours and 30 minutes — more than half an hour slower than her personal best — she went straight to A&E to find out the bad news.

She added: “I didn’t want to give in. Loads of people had sponsored me already and I wasn’t going to let them down. I sent an email around work and posted on Facebook saying that if my fundraising reached £3,000 by 5pm that day, I would run the London marathon on crutches.

“The target was hit within a few hours. The race was torture, but thinking about Mitchell and my family meant I wouldn’t give up.”

Now the management consultant turns her attention to her recovery, with both the Loch Ness and Wales marathons on the horizon.

Meanwhile, there was also great success for local running clubs.

Bellahouston Harrier Crispin Walsh competed with the cream of the crop, clocking a time of 2 hours 36.31 seconds.

His effort was more than a minute faster than his time last year and was 112th overall.

He said: “After months of training it was a relief to achieve that time. I had some added pressure from setting the bar high last year. It was important to improve on it or at least equal it.

“It was very exciting to start in the championship start pen, five rows back from Mo Farah with some of the country’s top club runners.”

Giffnock North’s David Sawyer, a 41-year-old from Netherlee, has only been running for two years, but nonetheless managed to complete the marathon in under two hours and 50 minutes.

The PR consultant ran the race to raise money for the Brain and Spine Foundation.

Next year he aims to be in the championship pen alongside Crispin. A time of sub 2:45 in Berlin in September would gain him championship entry in London next year.

He told The Extra: “A young family and busy job had seen fitness take a back seat for a few years. To anyone who says they haven’t got time to run I say think again. It’s the ultimate convenience exercise for our busy lives today.

“I’ve found time to do it while launching a business.”