TWO months after breaking his hip just as he was about to finish a marathon, fundraiser Stuart Barnes has finally completed the challenge — on crutches.
Mr Barnes, director of Zac’s Youth Bars, suffered the injury three miles from the finish line while competing in the Greater Manchester Marathon in April.
Not only has he now walked the remaining distance, he has even received a good luck message from Paula Radcliffe, three-time winner of the London Marathon.
Paula heard about Mr Barnes’s challenge when one of his friends sent her The Bolton News article about his hip break.
She replied with the message ‘Good Luck Stuart. Hope it went well.’ Mr Barnes broke his hip in Urmston and managed to locate the exact location where he stopped running using Google Maps.
He completed the final few miles with fellow members of Dragons Running Club in Sale,.
One member also chose to walk the three and a half miles on crutches in a show of solidarity.
The marathon is one of 50 challenges Mr Barnes will complete over 50 months.
He aims to raise £50,000 in time for his 50th birthday in 2016.
He said: “I feel great about finishing the marathon – unfinished business is now finished.
“I’ve got a lot of challenges and I can’t put them all off while I recover, so I knew I had to do it.
“It was a good feeling. I saw that Paula Radcliffe had found out about my challenge and had wished me luck.
“I’m very fortunate to have great people around me who are so supportive.”
Mr Barnes has now started physiotherapy and is about to return to the offices.
He also has a very important date in the diary, albeit one which has nothing to do with fundraising.
He said: “I’m going on holiday to Greece with my wife and kids and I will only need one crutch by then, so I’m looking forward to it.”
To date, Mr Barnes has raised £13,000 for Zac’s Youth Bars and has 30 months to raise the remaining £37,000.