One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Injured PC Runs Marathon With Moat Victim
A policeman from Hertfordshire - who was injured two years ago when he was hit by a car travelling at more than 50 miles an hour - has run the London Marathon.
PC Gareth Rees, who lives in Stevenage, did the challenge alongside PC David Rathband, who was blinded in both eyes by gunman Raol Moat in July 2010. They both completed the course in just over six and a half hours.
The pair took on the challenge for the Blue Lamp Foundation, which was set up by PC Rathband to help emergency services staff who have been injured on duty as a result of criminal action.
They're hoping to raise at least £10,000 which will be added to the £60,000 that the charity has already raised.
PC Rees was left severely injured after an accident on the A505 between Baldock and Royston in December 2008. He was putting cones out on the road, following an earlier collision, when another car came off the road and on to the grass verge where he'd been working from. PC Rees was hit at about 55 miles an hour.
Both of his legs were shattered, his left femur was broken in to four pieces and the bone came through his skin. His right leg had four breaks and both of his lungs collapsed while he was having surgery at the Lister Hospital.
Gareth spent four weeks in hospital and at one time was told he may never walk again.
He spent four months in a wheelchair, but was determined to walk in to the delivery room to see the birth of his first daughter.
Since then his recovery has continued and - although he still needs more surgery - Gareth's been able to return to work in the Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit.
Gareth got in touch with PC Rathband after he saw the injuries he sustained following the events in Northumbria in July last year. Since then Gareth's become very involved in the work of the Blue Lamp Foundation.
Ahead of the race, PC Rees told Heart completing the 26.2 mile London Marathon course would be a challenge, but one both men would be determined to finish:
"I managed to start jogging within the last four weeks. I didn't think I was going to be able to, so that was a nice surprise. So yeah the plan is to do it as quickly as we can without doing any damage to either of us. But we'll do it. By hook or by crook we'll get passed that finishing line."
And he said they are able to support each other through their tough times:
"We both have our down moments, but we're very quick to get on the phone and push one another. That's been a real help. And I think on the day that's going to come in to its own, just to push one another. And I dare say it'll probably get to the stage, we'll be doing that and we'll be sprinting it."
If you want to sponsor PC Rees and PC Rathband click here
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