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Hackney dad runs virtual London Marathon pushing five-month-old in a pram

PUBLISHED: 12:56 06 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:23 06 October 2020

Jimmy Dale and his daughter Elsie. Picture: Jimmy Dale

Jimmy Dale and his daughter Elsie. Picture: Jimmy Dale

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A Hackney dad and his five-month-old daughter ran their own London Marathon last weekend, making her the youngest taking part this year.

Jimmy Dale’s daughter Elsie was born on April 26. Picture: Jimmy DaleJimmy Dale’s daughter Elsie was born on April 26. Picture: Jimmy Dale

Jimmy Dale’s daughter Elsie was born on April 26, when the marathon was due to take place.

She joined Jimmy, 34, for the entirety of the rescheduled “virtual” run on October 4, but pushed in a running pram designed to hold babies firmly in place and with built-in suspension.

His route began in his hometown of Woodford and was completed by running laps of Victoria Park.

READ MORE: Brendan Foster casts doubt over London Marathon as Great North Run is cancelled

Mum and wife Sarah was parked in the café as a Formula 1 style pit stop for feeds and nappy changes.

Jimmy Dale with his daughter Elsie in the special running pram. Picture: Jimmy DaleJimmy Dale with his daughter Elsie in the special running pram. Picture: Jimmy Dale

Before the event, Jimmy told the Gazette: “After each two-mile loop I’ll come into the café. The cardinal rule of marathon running is to not walk, so I have no idea what happens when you have to stop and restart.”

Jimmy and Elsie trained together: “She loves being in the buggy but I’m imagining the last couple of miles she will need more stops and play, making sure that she’s okay.”

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He added: “This will be challenging in a whole new way, different to any marathon I’ve done before.”

The marathon was Jimmy’s 22nd; his first 26.2-mile race was the London Marathon in 2009, after which he swore to never run one again.

Before coronavirus threw a spanner in the works, he had aimed to run this year’s London Marathon – his second - in sub-three hours to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

In the end, Jimmy and Elsie crossed the finish line in four hours, 40 minutes and 29 seconds - slower than expected because of the additional challenge of pushing a pram.

After the race, he told the Gazette: “It was a pretty rainy and miserable day - wet and rain and six degrees - but considering it was a virtual marathon there was such a good atmosphere, we were constantly passing people and everyone was cheering each other on.”

Elsie slept for over half the race before she woke up, but was carried for less than one mile before she was happy to go back into the pram.

“She seemed to really enjoy it,” Jimmy added.

Jimmy, a national adviser for the Church of England’s youth ministry, has fundraised more than £650 for Newham YFC, a local youth work charity.

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