World of Sport

Epileptic runner has 20 fits, still completes marathon

World of Sport

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Tally and Simone before race (photo from their Just Giving page)

A woman who suffers from epilepsy managed to complete the London Marathon despite having 20 fits along the route.

Simone Clarke, 39, from Southampton, was helped by her friend Tally Hall who would catch her whenever she had a seizure.

Simone goes unconscious for about 30 seconds every time she has a fit but she still managed to complete the 26.2-mile route in six and half hours.

"By the time we got to 15 miles I was in tears because I was so annoyed we had lost the pace," Simone told the Southern Daily Echo.

"But by that stage I had already had lots of fits and I was still standing so I thought, stuff it, I'm just going to finish it."

Simone, who was raising money for the Epilepsy Society, usually has about four fits a day and while training on 20-mile runs only used to have one or two seizures.

However, that changed in the race itself, as circumstances conspired to make Simone's challenge all the more difficult when she began to have stomach upsets around the eight-mile mark.

"I was expecting Simone to have a couple of seizures but I wasn't expecting a constant battle of seizures and running. I have never known her to be that bad before," explained Tally.

Simone paid tribute to her friend: "It's all thanks to Tally. Without her I would never have been able to do it."

Simone explained on her Just Giving page that the "Epilepsy Society is a charity very close to my heart as I was diagnosed with the condition when I was five years old. I still have seizures today but try not to let them get in the way of my life."

She started running in 2006 and the exercise helped her drop from a size 24 dress to a size 10.

She was hoping to raise £800 through her marathon effort but by Thursday evening her total had already topped £1,500.

Simone was praised by Angie King of the Epilepsy Society for her efforts.

"Simone is unique and to us an absolute star," she said.

If you would like to make a donation to Simone as a result of her efforts, you can visit her Just Giving page here.

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