Rob’s whippet is key to his London marathon success

I DID IT! Rob Ward with his London Marathon medal
I DID IT! Rob Ward with his London Marathon medal

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RUNNER Rob Ward puts his speedy time in the London Marathon down to having the best training partner in the world – a whippet.

The 33-year-old from Milton completed the marathon in an impressive two hours, 43 minutes and 12 seconds.

Rob dedicated his marathon to his two-year-old whippet, Spartacus.

The dog usually runs alongside him until she got ill about a month ago due to anaemia.

An emergency blood transfusion saved her life and Mr Ward decided to run the marathon to raise cash for Pet Blood Bank, a charity that helps sick dogs receive blood transfusions.

Rob, of Trevis Road, said: ‘It was really, really tough, but I enjoyed it because the atmosphere was really good. The reason I run so well is I have the world’s greatest training partner.’

Rob was one of dozens of people from the Portsmouth area to take part in the 32nd London Marathon, which began in glorious warm sunshine and ended in torrential downpours for many.

Pompey’s ‘Touchline’ Tony Male, 52, from Milton, ran his 12th London Marathon in five hours, 30 minutes.

Tony said: ‘As I went through a few areas had a bit of stick from Millwall and QPR fans. They were chanting “You’re going down”. It was only a bit of friendly banter. I just said “We’ll be back”.’

David Hignell, 31, from Titchfield, ran the marathon in memory of his dad Dennis, who died from pancreatic cancer last year. Finishing the marathon in four hours, 16 minutes, he raised more than £2,000 for research into the disease.

David said: ‘The crowds were absolutely fantastic. It means a lot to me.’

Nik Bryan, 47, and pal Adrian Hibberd, 41, raised £1,500 for The Rowans Hospice, with Nik finishing in three hours, 45 minutes and Adrian crossing the line at five hours and 22 minutes.

Nik, of Purbrook Heath Road, Purbrook, said: ‘The support from the crowds is second to none. It was absolutely superb and really does lift you.’