Lord Provost finishes London Marathon in 5 hours

Lord Provost Donald Wilson at the London Marathon
Lord Provost Donald Wilson at the London Marathon
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HE’S been pounding the streets in a bid to turn himself in a marathon man.

And now the Lord Provost can call himself just that after completing yesterday’s 26-mile epic through London.

Councillor Donald Wilson completed the marathon in a respectable time of five hours, two minutes and 50 seconds – earning thousands of pounds for two great causes.

He even found himself in a contest with three runners dressed as the main characters from Toy Story, a battle he won in the end.

His massive effort raised £6000, which will be split between Evening News-backed defibrillator campaign the Jamie Skinner Foundation and anti-poverty charity The One City Trust.

Speaking to the Evening News after crossing the finish line in front of Buckingham Palace, an elated Councillor Wilson said: “I’m over the moon. It’s a huge achievement, and a very long way. I’m completely spent – but I did sprint over the finish line, and my time wasn’t too bad.

“I had some shin-splint pain at the start, but that went away after a while. The first 20 miles were relatively straightforward, but certainly the final four was the bit beyond my training, and I found that really hard.

“The mental battle is the hardest part, but I didn’t walk at all, I kept running, and I am surprised at my time.

“I’m thrilled to be able to raise this money. I also want to raise awareness of this issue, because it’s not just about providing the defibrillators, it’s about getting people trained to use them.”

Donations have flooded in from the city’s elected officials and council staff, as well as tycoon Sir Tom Farmer and the Dean of the Chapel Royal, the Very Reverend Professor Iain Torrance.

The Jamie Skinner Foundation campaign aims to help every sports club in the Lothian secure a vital heart-starting defibrillator, in memory of Jamie, who died in December 2013 after suffering a cardiac arrest aged just 13 while playing football.

His tragic death led to the launch of our Shockingly Easy campaign, which has raised thousands of pounds to buy the life-saving devices.

Karen Greechan, Jamie’s cousin, expressed her gratitude for the Lord Provost’s athletic efforts yesterday.

She said: “We’re so proud of him for finishing and doing all the work to get prepared, off his own back.

“He’s been in training for a while. When we met with him, he had only just started, and when he told us he would be running it, we were amazed.

“That’s a fantastic sum to have raised. It’s really good effort to him and everyone who has donated.

“The fact that someone as high-profile as the Lord Provost was doing this for the charity is brilliant.”

In memory of Jamie

THE News has joined the family of Jamie Skinner in launching the Shockingly Easy campaign. We hope to ensure there is a life-saving defibrillator in every Lothian sports centre. Here’s how to help:

• Make a donation or fundraise for a defibrillator Cheques payable to The Jamie Skinner Foundation can be sent to Shockingly Easy, The Edinburgh Evening News, Orchard Brae House, 30 Queensferry Road, EH4 2HS.

• Volunteer to take a defibrillator course at your sports club

• Learn CPR skills

If you can help, e-mail savealife@edinburghnews.com.

Clubs involved so far include:

• Easthouses FC

• Edinburgh South FC

• Kirkliston & South Queensferry FC

• Lauriston Thistle FC

• Leith Athletic FC

• Loanhead Miners Youth FC

• Sighthill Bowling Club

• Silverknowes Golf Club