Forza Forzoni! Croydon man’s marathon challenge

Tony Forzoni finishing the recent Brighton Half-marathon. He needs your support in this Sunday's London Marathon

Tony Forzoni finishing the recent Brighton Half-marathon. He needs your support in this Sunday’s London Marathon

If ever there was an occasion when those running in Sunday’s London Marathon deserved our support to help to carry them all the way, safely, around the 26-mile 385-yard course, then it must be this year.

With added security measures, the London race expects to go ahead, less than a week after the dreadful scenes yesterday in Boston, where two bombs killed three people, reportedly including an eight-year-old boy, and injuring more than a hundred others as they watched or took part in the annual Boston Marathon.

London’s runners, most of them with targets measured in pounds and pence for charity as well as hours and minutes for their PBs, are expected to set off on Sunday morning more sombre than usual, but with a point to prove.

Among the 25,000-plus runners from Greenwich Park to The Mall will be a Croydon asthmatic, running in the London Marathon for the first time.

Tony Forzoni is the caretaker at South Croydon’s Howard School. He is running for local charity the Lily Foundation.

The Warlingham-based Lily Foundation seeks a cure for Mitochondrial Disease. The charity is named after Lily Anna Merritt who died from the disease, aged eight months.

Yesterday’s tragic scenes in Boston have made Forzoni even more determined to make sure he runs this Sunday. “The thought of not running has not crossed my mind,” Fiorzoni said this morning. “I’m ready and Nothing’s gonna stop me now

“For Lily. And for the eight-year-old boy, the same age as one of my own children. It would be wrong not to run, however scared we are.”

Forzoni’s first distance race was the Croydon 10k – a full 20 miles short of the marathon distance. When he got to the finish, “I had to stop. I couldn’t run another mile,” he said.

Since then, he has become a regular marathoner, running three marathons in Italy as well as in Paris and Rotterdam.

For the charity, Forzoni has run the Cambridge and Croydon half-marathons recently, and he is hoping that to help him towards raising some serious funds for the Lily Foundation, a group of children and parents from Howard School will be travelling into central London to support their caretaker’s efforts.

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