Marathon runner: This one’s for you, dad

Phil Thorne (right) in full marathon attire, with proud father Graham.

Phil Thorne (right) in full marathon attire, with proud father Graham. - Credit: Archant

Phil says he wouldn’t miss London Marathon for the world.

A BARNSTAPLE runner says he still plans to run this Sunday’s London Marathon following a bomb blast at the Boston Marathon that has killed three people and injured at least 140.

Phil Thorne, who has been inspired by his father Graham’s own ‘medical marathon, said of London he ‘wouldn’t miss it for world’.

Speaking to the Gazette hours just after the explosion on the finish line in Boston, Phil 44, said: “I’ve had an email from the organisers this morning confirming the London Marathon is still going ahead and I’ll be there supporting my father and North Devon Hospice on Sunday.”

His father Graham, 77, boasts a remarkable medical history, currently fighting prostate cancer and brain tumours and facing an operation to resolve a hernia problem this month.

He has also overcome heart-bypass surgery, angina, a hearing impediment and cataracts in both eyes, as well as needing keyhole surgery in his shoulder – all within the last 15 years.

“I had visions of us running a double marathon; Phil running the London Marathon and me running my medical marathon,” said Graham.

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Phil, 44, will be running for North Devon Hospice, which his father still visits every week for rehabilitation sessions.

The Actavis worker played local football for more than 20 years, representing Hearts of Oak, North and South Molton among others, before turning his attentions to running a couple of years ago.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

“I’ve been training hard and I’ve managed over 500 miles since December so I’m definitely ready for the challenge.

“I think it’s a really worthwhile cause that helps local people and families.”

Phil, who suffered from Bronchitis as a child, has already raised more than £1,500 but hopes to reach in excess of £2,000 for the charity he has supported on previous occasions.

“Last year I did the Coast to Coast challenge for the hospice,” he said. “I also ran the Bristol Half Marathon for the children’s hospice last year and raised around £300.”

Phil has also qualified for next year’s London Marathon, having run the Taunton 26-mile in March in three hours, 14 minutes and 28 seconds. His was the 29th best time of 250 runners.

To sponsor Phil visit

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