London Daily

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London Marathon's Last Runners: Pride and Support from Tailwalkers

A group of approximately 50 runners completed the London Marathon after the finish line had been dismantled, crossing the line at an alternative location on Monday.
Among them was Fred Tomlinson, a 75-year-old runner from Doncaster who finished last in his 32nd marathon, despite taking over 13 hours due to a knee injury.

Tomlinson was supported by a team of volunteer tailwalkers who help bring up the rear of the race, whom he described as "incredible." Despite finishing last, Tomlinson considered this marathon to be his best yet.

A former police officer named Fred participates in the marathon annually for Rainbow Trust Children's Charity, in memory of his late daughter Claire who died before her birthday.

He runs despite finishing last, believing that it's insignificant compared to the challenges faced by the children the charity supports.

Fred completed the race at St James's Park instead of The Mall due to taking over eight hours.

Shone Surendran also finished just before the 19:30 BST closure, having been delayed by five bouts of cramp.

Sean O'Sullivan, a 52-year-old volunteer, helped Fred finish the marathon by providing support and guidance when Fred fell behind the eight-hour pace.

As part of a team of tailwalkers, Sean and others ensured participants reached the finish line by accompanying them on the pavements and offering encouragement, snacks, and drinks.

Fred expressed gratitude for their assistance, calling them "marathon angels."

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