26 February 2024

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Connor’s marathon story

Broken leg won’t stop Connor running marathon

If he hits his fundraising target Connor will be running in a fairy outfit and with a plate in his leg.

Connor Norris possibly wasn’t following doctor’s orders when, recovering from a broken leg and dislocated ankle, he applied to run the London Marathon to raise money for St Christopher’s.

But, having missed his target of completing the iconic challenge before his 30th birthday, the property manager from Bexley, was determined to do it in his 30th year.

“When I got the call to say I’d got a place I was really chuffed. Then it hit me; I’ve got to run very far,” added Connor.

Pushing him on through the months of training and the race itself, will be memories of his father, Steve, who spent his final few weeks at St Christopher’s 18 years ago after a terminal lung cancer diagnosis, when Connor was just 12.

“I was too young to really appreciate the place and to fundraise back then,” he remembers.

“But the whole family have fond memories of the place and an affiliation with it ever since and my mum is still in touch with one of the nurses who looked after Dad. I remember going there after school, getting something to eat from the café and then going and spending time with my Dad in his room and watching something on TV.”

It’s not the first time Connor has raised money for St Christopher’s. He has organised two charity football matches at Cray Valley Football Club with two teams of friends playing against each other raising more than £3,000.

“I remember when my mum and I went to pick up the collection buckets from St Christopher’s, it was the first time we had been back there since Dad died and that was quite a moment.

“I’ve not known anyone else who’s been cared for at St Christopher’s but so many people I know have relatives who have been and it’s such a special place for people.”

There’s a particular memory of dad, Steve, that Connor might quite literally carry with him as he treads the streets of London in April.

“I’ve pledged on my Just Giving page that if I manage to raise £3,500 before the race I will run as a fairy in memory of a photo of my dad dressed as one at a New Year’s Eve party at the millennium.”

That’ll be a minor test compared to all the training Connor’s doing, with a plate in his leg, after the winter weather accident he suffered last year, for which he’s still receiving physiotherapy, and the fact that, despite having played football regularly to a decent standard, he’s never done much running.

“The running itself really isn’t too much of a problem. It’s afterwards, my legs just start to go. But I’ve got my family and friends coming down on the day to watch and I’ve booked a pub for after, so I am determined to run it all if I possibly can and hopefully in under 5 hours.”

So long as Connor finishes the marathon unscathed, he’s planning to organise a third and deciding fundraising football match.

If you’d like to take on a challenge for St Christopher’s you can find out more on our events calendar

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