Climbing accident fails to stop marathon effort

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IT WAS the moment when Helen Copeland thought that all the months of training for the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon had been for nothing.

She fell 15ft on to a ledge while climbing at Millstone Edge near Hathersage in the Peak District on August 10, suffering multiple fractures to both legs and ending her hopes of running in her first ever marathon. But in a remarkable show of endurance, she completed the 26.2-mile course yesterday while using a hand bike.

Speaking just after she crossed the finishing line, Miss Copeland, 45, a physiotherapist from York, said: “It was an amazing experience, there were so many people shouting out my name.

“I have been so lucky to be taking part, and I was still in a hospital bed eight weeks ago. But I was determined to do the marathon. I am lucky that I am quite fit anyway as I do go climbing, and I do have strength in my arms. But I think I got round on pure adrenaline today.”

Miss Copeland has been told she faces up to seven months with her leg braces still in place, although she can now walk with the aid of a stick. She has raised £500 so far for the Edale-based mountain rescue team who came to her aid after she suffered the fall.