London Marathon 2020: Why one rugby player wants to smash a world-record

A rugby player whose teammate lost his son to meningitis, aged just three-and-a-half, will attempt to smash a world record during the London Marathon.

Duncan Nealon has known teammate Rod Adlington for 25 years after meeting at their local rugby club, Claverdon RFC.

In tragic circumstances, they were brought even closer after the death of Adlington’s son Barney from meningococcal (Men B) meningitis and septicaemia, in 2005.

Adlington, a turkey farmer from Warwickshire has raised over £115,000 for Meningitis Now in the years that followed.

Nealon, inspired by his teammate, will pay tribute to Barney’s life by running the 26.2 miles race decked in rugby shorts, shirt, a scrum cap, mouth guard and with a rugby ball in hand. 

Though this task is immensely challenging, Nealon is motivated to attempt the record for a marathon in full rugby kit (3 hours 14 minutes) to raise money for charity Meningitis Now.  

“I know that over the years Rod and his family have raised lots of money for Meningitis Now, now it’s my turn,” said Duncan.

“I’m hoping to beat the record of 3 hours 14 minutes for someone to complete the race in full rugby kit – which is currently held by an Australian.

“But if I make a ton of money and raise a ton of awareness but the record doesn’t fall, it’s not the absolute end of the world.

“Of course, I want to have a good go at it but for me, it’s all about awareness of the symptoms, awareness of the charity and about raising money– as much money as possible. 

“Plus, of course, looking out for, and supporting your mates. Rugby bonds you for life, and I feel honoured to be working with Rod on this, as we celebrate the life of Barney, who was loved by everyone at our club.”

To donate to this great cause, please visit his Just Giving Page.  

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