Dexter pounds South Cambs streets in emotional marathon effort for best friend
- Credit: Archant
There were emotional scenes at Orwell Recreation Ground as runner Dexter Wright crossed the finishing line of his ‘virtual’ marathon, in honour of his best friend.
LCpl Hayden Prince from Cambridge died last year in a mountain accident aged 24 – and South Cambs personal trainer Dexter ran 26.2 miles in the pouring rain on Sunday to raise funds for St John Ambulance in his memory.
He told the Crow: “I injured myself badly before the race, and wasn’t able to run for three weeks beforehand. I was feeling like it wasn’t going to happen.
“I have raised more than £6,200 with Gift Aid, so there was a pressure. Added COVID restrictions also meant I couldn’t have as many people as I wanted there so I was up against it.
“On the day, I had a friend Dean there – who was one of Hayden’s friends. He joined me at mile 13 to run the rest of the race.
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“My stomach was blotchy from how cold it was, I was soaked through, my feet were squelching, and at mile 13 the St John Ambulance Crew was there cheering me on. Every couple of miles there were people cheering me on, it was amazing. When I got to Whaddon there was about 20 people spread out along the route supporting me.
“I can’t put it into words how nice it was see people along the way.
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“Going across the finishing line back in Orwell, I was in floods of tears – Hayden’s family were there and I gave them a huge hug. I know you’re not meant to at the moment with COVID but as it was such an overwhelming experience I had to.”
Dexter ran in three hours 58 minutes – only six minutes slower than his time at London last year. And he plans to return to the event in the capital next year to do a sub-three-hour race.
“I think Hayden would be extremely proud of what I’ve achieved,” said Dexter. His dad sent me a message saying he was in awe of me and his mum said it must feel like a great achievement.
“It wasn’t about me running the marathon it was about what we can do for Hayden. This money is all meant in his name. I’ve got a tattoo on my back in Hayden’s memory – and I was soaked through during the race but it wasn’t showing. I was struggling and when I got to Whaddon, and my dad said your tattoo is now showing through. That was Hayden having my back and it kept me going.”