An amazing man from Staffordshire completed the London Marathon last week after collapsing at 22 miles and spending an hour and a half being treated by medics.
Steve Stuttard, 40 and from Newcastle-under-Lyme, was running the London Marathon for the charity Blind Veterans UK, which supported his late father. His wife and children joined him in the medical tent before he put his trainers back on and completed the final four miles, finishing in under six hours.
Steve says: “It was my first marathon and I was feeling really good right up until 22 miles. Then suddenly my legs collapsed underneath me and the next thing I knew I was in the medical tent.”
He continues: “I had bad cramp in my legs and felt sick and dizzy every time I tried to stand up. But I was determined to complete the race and so I took a leaf out of my father’s book, gritted my teeth, and finished the final four miles.”
Steve, who works as a constable for Staffordshire Police, only started running four years ago.
He explains: “Being a police officer who isn’t getting any younger I knew that I needed to keep myself fit, but having three young children can make it hard to find time to exercise. Fortunately when I started running I realised I really enjoyed it, and with some training I went from a few 10k races to doing half marathons.”
Steve signed up to run the London Marathon for Blind Veterans UK, a charity that supported his late father, Captain David Stuttard MBE, who served in the Corps of Royal Engineers for 40 years.
David, originally from Moss Side in Manchester, went on to serve as a trustee for Blind Veterans UK and set up his own charity, MyUbique, which worked to improve water sanitation in Ghana and stop people losing their sight from preventable parasitic infections. He was appointed MBE in 2011 for his charitable services.
Steve explains: “My father lost his sight in 2004 due to diabetes. He was a very active man and Blind Veterans UK gave him the support and skills he needed to adapt to his sight loss and help thousands of others affected by blindness.”
Steve, who was cheered on at the marathon by his wife Rachel and three sons Finley, 13, Lucas, 11, and Fletcher, 5, has made a full recovery following the race.
He collapsed at almost the same point as Matt Campbell, the Masterchef star who tragically died after collapsing at the 22.5 mile mark of the London Marathon.
Steve says: “I feel very lucky to have made a full recovery and for my first run since the marathon I ran 3.7 miles, the distance Matt had until the end of his race.”
He continues: “I’m very grateful for the volunteers at St Johns Ambulance who took such good care of me, and I hope my dad would be proud of me finishing the race to raise awareness and funds for blind veterans like himself.”
For all media enquiries please contact: Ruth Moore, PR and Communications Executive, Blind Veterans UK, 12 – 14 Harcourt Street, London W1H 4HD, E: firstname.lastname@example.org, T: 020 7616 7955
Notes to Editor
Blind Veterans UK
Blind Veterans UK is a national charity that believes that no-one who has served our country should have to battle blindness alone. Founded in 1915, the charity provides blind and vision impaired ex-Service men and women with lifelong support including welfare support, rehabilitation, training, residential and respite care.