Running the London Marathon is a tough enough challenge for anyone, but doing it two days after your father’s sudden death takes a special type of courage and determination.
Daniel Bayles, 38, lost his father John, 69, on the Friday just prior to the event, after he suffered a massive heart attack at his home in Wimblington. Despite suffering from diabetes his dad had shown no warning signs and, despite Magpas attending, they were unable to resuscitate him.
Daniel was running the London Marathon on Sunday, April 26 for Disability Huntingdonshire (DISH) and he felt compelled to continue the race to raise his target of £1,000. Daniel’s sister Hilary Bayles, 35, works as a volunteer for DISH and, although they both now live in Cambridge, they grew up in St Ives.
Daniel completed the 26.2-mile route and even broke the six-hour target he’d set himself, finishing the course in 5 hours 58 minutes.
“My sister and brother [Oliver, 32] came to see me. When I saw them at the Cutty Sark, I even looked to see if dad was behind them. But, of course he wasn’t. In fact, Oliver had spoken to dad on the Friday to discuss what they were going to do about coming down for the marathon. That was the last time he spoke to him.”
Daniel also completed the London Marathon in 2013, which his dad was there to see. The regular runner trained for the race by taking part in a number of half marathons and a 30K race earlier in the year.
“I think I was still in shock and the start was very emotional. I was mentally and physically exhausted at the end.”
Daniel is still a little way off his target but has yet to collect all the pledges and is still determined to break the £1,000 mark.
INFORMATION: To make a donation, text DISH38 £2 (or any amount up to £10) to 70070 or you can go to www.dish.org.uk to make a donation online.