EVERY time he felt like he couldn’t go on, Stephen Camburn thought of the beloved step-sister he had lost to cancer.
The 41-year-old was one of 35,000 people taking part in the Virgin London Marathon – many from the Portsmouth area.
His determination to succeed summed up the atmosphere of the historic race where records were broken, muscles were pulled and goals were achieved.
Mr Camburn, a first-time marathon runner from Meon Road, Milton, Portsmouth, was delighted with his time of 5hrs 15mins.
He was running for Cancer Research UK and was inspired to do it in memory of his beloved step-sister Lyndsey Bonathan, who died of cancer aged just 37.
He said: ‘It was really hard because it was hot.
‘But I don’t think I’ve ever high-fived so many people in my life, it was brilliant.
‘There was so much going on. There was music pumping out, and the supporters were cheering us on and shouting out our names.
‘I didn’t really get time for nerves because there was so much happening.
‘I had a few tears while I was running.
‘I had loads of messages of support. I got about 13 miles in and my groin started hurting, I was trying to run, then walk, and it was starting to get really frustrating.
‘So I looked up to the sky and said “Come on, help me out here”, and I got a second wind.
‘You can’t help but be motivated when you have the fantastic crowds egging you on and geeing you up.
‘It has been such a fantastic experience. I’ve been totally blown away by the whole thing.’
Mr Camburn, an engineer, was one of scores of people from the Portsmouth area who ran in yesterday’s marathon.
Adi Fuller, 52, from Southsea Terrace, Southsea, completed the marathon for the South West Thames Kidney Fund despite doing hardly any training.
In 2009 he donated a kidney to his son Freddie, and ran to give something back to the charity which helped his family.
Mr Fuller completed the race in 7hrs and 3mins but it got off to an unconventional start.
He said: ‘Before we set off I had a pint of Murphy’s stout to get some iron in me.
‘I got some funny looks. I did hardly any training but I’m a very determined person and knew I’d do it. My son Freddie was there and when I told him I’d finished it I think he was really chuffed.’
The day saw professional runners Emmanuel Mutai and Mary Keitany produce two superb performances to win the men’s and women’s titles for Kenya by impressive margins. Mutai became the fourth fastest man in history with a time of 2hrs 4mins and 40secs.
While Keitany became the fourth fastest woman in history finishing in 2hrs 19mins 19secs.