A discarded plastic bottle, a badly sprained ankle…it wasn’t quite the great adventure Rotherham businessman Ian Chester had in mind when he embarked on one of the world’s biggest sporting challenges.
Nevertheless, by the time he finally crossed the finish line at the celebrated Hong Kong Marathon, the Managing Director of Yorkshire Windows had raised almost £1,000 for our patient care.
And his injury has failed to dampen his enthusiasm for competing in future international events.
Launched in 1997, the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon has now become a signature international sporting event on the island and this year attracted 65,000 runners.
Everything was going well for experienced runner Ian in the first hour but then, 14 kilometres into the course, a simple accident almost brought his marathon dream to a halt.
“I trod on a plastic bottle in the road and rolled and sprained my ankle so I stopped for a while and then tried to carry on walking,” Ian explained.
“I got to around half way and it was very painful but by that point I just decided to carry on walking as best as I could,
“It was fairly bad and it actually felt like I’d been shot in my ankle - it all happened so quickly that it hardly seems possible that such a simple thing could cause so much pain.”
Ian crossed the finish line in a time of six hours and 12 minutes, way behind his estimated time of four hours and 30 minutes.
“It could have been worse because out of the 65,000 people taking part, 844 needed specialist medical attention,” Ian said.
“At least I crossed the line and got my medal and I’m really pleased that I still managed to raise some money for St Luke’s.
“I can walk on my ankle again now, though sideways movement is still pretty painful and it does take it out of you but I don’t think it has put me off.”
In fact, far from being deterred, Ian is already looking towards planning an even bigger running adventure.
“I really want to try and do a marathon on every continent in the world,” he said.
“I’ve done the UK and Asia so there’s still America, Africa and Australia - if the ankle’s up to it!”