Woman shows 'crazy determination' to run London Marathon on a broken leg

A Shropshire woman ran the London Marathon last weekend to raise money for Parkinson's UK on a broken leg.

Angie before the starting pistol
Angie before the starting pistol

Angie Hopson, a dental hygienist from Claverley, had been in training on an off for over a year by the time the London Marathon could be officially held.

Angie explained: "My husband Ian decided that for his 50th birthday he was going to do the London Marathon. When I realised that he was serious, I thought I'd join him."

Angie has been a keen runner for years, tackling 10k runs and the odd half-marathon, but this would be the first time she would go the full distance. The couple began training in early 2020, and with various delays to the big event, they kept up their fitness before finally committing to a 16-week pre-marathon training block this summer.

However, husband Ian eventually had to pull out through injury.

Ian said: "I was supposed to be running it with her, but I had a deep vein thrombosis in my leg and the doctor told me I couldn't go."

Early on in her own 16-week block, Angie strained her calf and missed six weeks of training, but was able to catch up.

"I did my long run three weeks before the marathon. A 21-mile training run, and my confidence was high and I was looking forward to London," Angie said.

"After that though I felt some pain on the side of my leg, and I thought I would ease off on the running and do other exercise to keep my general fitness up and I'll be fine."

Ian explained that the whole family went down to London to support Angie on the big day. Nobody knew that the leg strain she had felt a couple of weeks earlier was actually a fibular fracture.

"When I started I thought 'hmm, I can feel it, but it's ok'," Angie said.

Angie battling round

"As every minute went by it was getting more intense. The pain started at a one and by about mile five or six it was at level ten.

"I couldn't keep running, it was killing me."

Angie added that the next 20 or so miles were a blur, but that her determination - or stubbornness - and the commitment she had made to Parkinson's UK got her through.

She said: "My mum had Parkinson's and we lost her five years ago, and obviously I thought of her. I made a promise to Parkinson's UK and I am going to do it."

Ian and the rest of the family realised something was wrong. He said: "It was quite incredible, she's a crazy woman with crazy determination."

Angie hobbled to the side of the road to allow the runners behind her to pass, and along the way a woman in front of her - also nursing an injury and also named Angie - walked beside her.

"I thought she was going to join me for a little while, but she stayed with me the whole rest of the way," Angie said.

Doctors would later look at x-ray pictures of Angie's leg in disbelief at how she came to break her leg.

"They said to me 'you must have fallen or banged it on something' but I didn't, I think it was just the strain of all the running," she said.

"A lot of people have asked me if I'm going to do it again. I did it, but not in the way that I would have wanted to, so I think I do want to try again just to prove to myself that I can."

Angie has so far raised over £1,300 for Parkinson's UK. If you would like to add to that total click here.

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