A runner has thanked the “wonderful strangers” who helped her complete the last four miles of the London Marathon with a broken leg.
Jo Denton, 41, from Poole in Dorset, who was fundraising for Children with Cancer UK, carried on after suffering what she thought was a sprained knee.
Runners and race volunteers gave piggy backs and carried her to allow her to hop over the line to claim her medal.
An X-ray later revealed she had actually broken her leg.
Writing on Facebook, Ms Denton, a maths teacher, said she had been on target for a six-hour finish in what was her first marathon, when she felt pain in her knee after 22 miles.
Thinking it was a sprain, she was helped through the final stages by other runners who supported, carried and even gave her a piggy back ride. She was also lent a pair of crutches by a spectator.
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She said her knee and shin “totally gave way” at 25 miles when she was helped by and pushed in a wheelchair by St John Ambulance volunteer Ollie Needham and his colleague.
“They realised how distraught I was to get so close to the end and so they ran the last mile pushing me in a wheelchair to the finish line,” she said.
“Then he and another runner helped me hop over the finish line.
“My faith in humanity is at an all-time high. Such wonderful support from complete strangers which must have caused them pain themselves. I made a few friends for life,” she said.
‘So much pain’
A medical examination later showed she had suffered a stress fracture which lead to a full break during the race.
She was initially helped by Sally Daley and Joanne Graham, from Sheffield, who were running for the same charity.
Ms Daley said: “We just really felt for Jo. We thought we can’t leave her and we’d do whatever we could to get her to the finish line.
“It was hard going for all of us. There was the heat and Jo was in so much pain. We’d have been devastated if she hadn’t made it”.
More than 40,000 runners took part amid temperatures of 24.1C (75.3F) which were recorded in St James’s Park.
The 26.2-mile race was started at 10:00 BST by the Queen who pressed a button from the grounds of Windsor Castle.