Tears as Dale raises funds

A father broke down in tears as he crossed the finish line in the London Marathon – a challenge he set himself in aid of a children's hospice.

A father broke down in tears as he crossed the finish line in the London Marathon – a challenge he set himself in aid of a children's hospice.

Dale Dyer will donate every penny he raised in sponsorship to Acorns Children's Hospice Trust, which runs hospices in Walsall, Selly Oak and Worcester.

The 41-year-old wanted to do his bit for the charity in appreciation for the care his son Jack, who has severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy, receives.

Mr Dyer finished the 26-mile annual race, with tears rolling down his face, in five hours and nine minutes.

He was inundated with messages of congratulations, both in person and by telephone, from family members around the world. He said: "It was brilliant, I enjoyed every mile. The last six miles really hurt, but I smiled all the way as I was cheered on by well-wishers shouting my name on my shirt. Encouragement makes all the difference.

"If I hadn't seen my wife Sharon at 20 miles, I would have stopped, it gave me the energy to go on. Acorns was my inspiration. I'm so glad I did it – Jack was happy and smiling, and so pleased to see me."

Mr Dyer, of Claines, near Worcester, smashed his target and raised more than £8,000 for the charity which supports seriously-ill children and their families.

When Jack stays at Acorns it gives Mr Dyer and his wife time to spent with his younger brother Harry. Fellow marathon man Dale Lyons, of Harborne, braved a knee injury and ran with a crutch to raise money for the trust. He said: "I had a knee problem and was worried I wouldn't last out, but I managed it."

Lucy Martin, treks and challenges officer, said: "What a great job they and other London Marathon runners, such as Jon Holland, who owns Worcester hairdressers Muse, have done for our children."

Places are still available for Acorns runners in the triple run at Malvern on June 22; the British 10k, London July 6; Great North Run, Newcastle October 5; Birmingham Half Marathon, Birmingham October 26; and Great South Run, Portsmouth October 26. Call 01564 825023 to register.

It costs £4,500 a day to run the hospice and the trust relies mostly on fundraising for more than 80 per cent of its income.

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