It’s a question many have asked themselves: could I run quick enough to lead the London Marathon from the gun?
Richard Lee-Wright decided to answer that question with an emphatic 'yes' on Sunday, sprinting off at the start to the delight of those watching.
As the pre-race favourites settled into their early rhythm, the runner from Devon was seen tearing away behind the official race vehicle.
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Once he realised he was clear of the field, he began punching the air – making good on his promise to friends some six years earlier.
“It all started about six years ago. A friend and me were watching the London Marathon and he said, obviously, that they run really fast,” Lee-Wright told the Metro.
“I told him ‘I could lead the London Marathon’ and he said there was no chance.
“I’d told people for years that I was going to do this and they laughed at me and didn’t believe I could do it.
“When I put my arm in the air, that’s probably because I realised my dream had come true, and that I’d done it.
“I had to catch the elites and squeezed to the front of them, I just kept going. If Usain Bolt had been there, I’d have gone for him.”
Unsurprisingly, the 38-year-old paid for his early efforts, slowing to clock a still credible 3:23. His early rival, Kenya's winner Amos Kipruto, came home for the men's race title in 2:04:39.
Lee-Wright’s efforts will undoubtedly have inspired a legion of fans hoping to pull off the same stunt in future.
Fancy giving it a go? Not so fast. To be allowed at the front of the startline, runners must earn championship entry by running a sub-2:40 marathon.
Good luck...
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