May 2014: Crowds cheer Mr Ritson to marathon finish line

LEARNING support teacher Mr Ritson clocked up his 17th marathon and raised money for Macmillan Cancer Relief at the same time.

He began running marathons in 1996 and he has now completed 11 London Marathons, but he admitted this was the hardest one.

He said: “It was quite hard work and it was definitely not my finest run. It was very warm.

“I was hoping to get to 20 miles before it became difficult but I began to get dehydrated at about 14 miles and from then on it was hard.

“The crowd was unbelievable though and I have never seen as many people supporting the runners. I was raising money for Macmillan and so they had provided me with running kit and it had my name on it.

“People were not just cheering me on but they were shouting out my name as I ran and it really made me quite emotional. I spent a lot of the time in tears.

“Complete strangers were shouting my name and encouraging me.”

Mr Ritson completed the marathon in 5hr 40 mins and 30 secs. His daughters are hoping to secure a place to run the London Marathon next year while Mr Ritson is considering the Paris or Boston events.

He said: “I will be retired from school by then, but I will still be running.”