AN athlete’s plans to run part of the London Marathon bare-footed fell flat after the pain of blisters proved too much.
Hugo Minney, 49, completed Sunday’s mammoth running event in a respectable four hours, 37 minutes and 33 seconds.
Hugo, who appeared in the Mail last week ahead of the big race, was among 36,500 who completed the gruelling course.
He told how, due to his links with Africa, including spending six years of his childhood in Kenya, he planned to run the last two miles of the 26-mile course barefooted “to remember the people who don’t have shoes”.
But he succumbed to the pain of ferocious blisters on his foot and ran the full course in specially-padded shoes.
The dad-of-two, while nursing his swollen feet back at his job as business development manager for Horden’s Shinwell Medical Group, said: “I took my shoes off but couldn’t do it – the blisters were too bad.
“I only managed a few yards, which was far enough to realise it wasn’t going to work. It was really, really painful.
“I’ve been hobbling around at work all day.”
Hugo, who is married to Alison, 59, and lives in Newton Hall, near Durham, completed the race two years ago four minutes faster.
Hugo ran in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease charity after losing a friend to the condition and having another recently diagnosed with it.
He described the atmosphere at the event, which attracts runners from all over the world, as “just great”.
Hugo said: “There was a real camaraderie amongst the runners, particularly when running near people from the same charity.
“They would come up and pat you on the shoulder and encourage you along.
“We all had our names on the front of our T-shirts and lots of people would shout your name, saying ‘you can do it’.
There is still time to sponsor Hugo, whose next race will be the Great North Run later in the year.
People can donate at www.justgiving.com/Hugo-London-marathon-2011.