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29 November 2023   |   Marathon   |   


Meet Colin and Mel, who first met in a coffee shop in January 2023 just before Colin ran the Marrakech Marathon. Mel and Colin quickly bonded over their love for running and it became apparent that Mel’s lifelong dream was to run the TCS New York Marathon, Colin, having already booked onto run the New York Marathon with Sports Tours International quickly added Mel’s name too.

Mel had previously been training for an ultra-marathon but was stopped by an unexpected heath condition. She has torn two of the three layers of Aorta. Mel was rushed to hospital. That night they performed emergency open heart surgery to repair her ascending Aorta. Mel began building back up her strength, endurance, and distance to keep running. However, doom struck when Mel’s doctor told her that she couldn’t run and needed to keep her heart rate below 150bpm and BP under 120/80. This affected Mel’s mental health greatly, so, Colin and Mel decided to set up a plan… they managed to complete 23 park runs in 23 places in two different countries, with lots of gentle training.

On November 5th, Mel, and Colin ran the 2023 New York Marathon. They completed the marathon in 7 hours 31 minutes, (spending over 30 minutes of that time to say hi to supporters!) Colin described the New York Marathon as having the most incredible crowds and supporters of any marathon they have ran in, with many stunning moments of the Manhattan skyline. Colin expressed his sheer appreciated and proudness for Mel, she completed the marathon and was so strong in doing so despite her previous challenges.

The conclusion of the marathon took an unexpected turn, culminating in a moment of pure enchantment. As they triumphantly crossed the finish line, Colin seized Mel’s hand and, to her surprise, proposed. Of course, Mel said yes! Little did she know, Colin had meticulously kept this secret for months, rehearsing his heartfelt words during the marathon. Mel was so elated that she had just completed a marathon that she struggled to comprehend what was going on. Colin got down on one knee and Mel assumed he was doing up his shoelace again! There were so many photographers around them that they felt like celebrities, it was a magical moment.

Fast forward to today, Colin and Mel have already booked onto the 2024 Chicago Marathon with Sports Tours for Mel’s birthday! They are also planning on doing the New York Marathon again for 2025 and Colin is currently training for the London Marathon for Muscular Dystrophy in April 2024. Reflecting on their journey, Mel and Colin mentioned how every member of team Sports Tours went out their way to make the trip a special experience and to feel at ease, every part is taken care of.

Sports Tours International offer guaranteed entry to the Abbott World Marathon Majors without the need for a qualifying time. Find out more here:

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