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Runner’s epic recovery from being ‘laid up’ with Covid to breaking marathon record

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A man from Hornsea has achieved his third world record at the London Marathon, despite battling coronavirus a month earlier.

Mark Williamson, 51, collected a third Guinness world record at the London Marathon on Sunday, October 3, when he ran in a full rugby kit – and kept the mouth guard in at all times.

With just under ten minutes to spare, he smashed the previous record of three hours and 14 minutes with a time of three hours and five minutes. There was someone else in London that day attempting the same record too.

For the latest news from the London Marathon, click here.

However, last month, Mr Williamson caught Covid-19, putting his world record attempt in jeopardy.

He said: “I tested positive and I was quite badly with it even though I’d had both jabs. I was literally laid up for just under two weeks with it and then I started running again, but it was like there was nothing there, and I thought ‘oh no’ – it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“But I just persevered and had a few little runs. I wasn’t confident to be honest going into the race, because I just thought I needed a few more weeks because it was literally four weeks before London.

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“But, everything seemed to go quite well on the day.”

Mr Williamson currently holds two other records which feature in the Guinness Book of World Records, including fastest marathon in a telephone box and fastest marathon in a four person costume.

On the Friday night before the race, he logged online to check that the record still stood, but noticed that someone else was also attempting the same record at the London Marathon.

Mr Williamson said: “He’d done a half marathon in full kit and he put in a really good time, so I thought it’s game on now.

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“During the race I just didn’t know at what point or where he was, so I just had to keep going. Then, when I got over the line, the Guinness Records adjudicator came up and went ‘well done, first one across.’

“I looked at his result and my result and half way, he was a minute behind me in the race. Then I saw my wife at 18 miles and she said he was literally two minutes behind me.”

Mr Williamson runs out of the Hornsea Harriers club and Sunday’s marathon was his 50th marathon run.

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“It felt really good to bring the record home. Originally I wanted to attempt the record at the Hull Marathon, because it finished at the KC Stadium where Hull City play – but they changed the finish, so it finished at East Park, the Covid kicked in. So, I decided to do it at London,” he added.

He ran his first London Marathon in 2006, in which he raised money for the Children’s Heart Unit while running dressed as their mascot.

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https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/runners-epic-recovery-being-laid-6024636