Actor treads the roads in tribute to dad

Tom Verrall competing in the London Marathon 2015 SUS-150505-103908001
Tom Verrall competing in the London Marathon 2015 SUS-150505-103908001

Hastings actor Tom Verrall put on a marathon performance in memory of his dad by competing in the London Marathon and raising over £1.250 for Cancer Research.

Tom, 41, said he’d wanted to run the London Marathon as a tribute to his dad Douglas Verrall, a much loved teacher of Helenswood school and also well-known locally as an actor. Douglas died of bowel cancer aged 63, in 2002.

Tom said: “I hope my dad would have been proud. He died too young of bowel cancer and I’ve no doubt that his late diagnosis was due to not wanting to bother his doctor and his embarrassment of the symptoms.”

Tom, a former pupil of The Grove school who went on to win the Comedy Award at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has appeared in numerous TV roles. He said running the Marathon was one of his best performances to date and he felt “totally euphoric” when he crossed the finish line. “It was an amazing day and a tremendously uplifting experience. The crowd support along the route was an absolute joy (and much needed!).

“It’s difficult to describe the feeling when you see the finish line – it’s the most euphoric moment. But it’s not the only highlight: chatting to other runners and hearing their often-moving stories, the relief and joy of spotting loved ones en route, having strangers offer encouragement and jelly babies. It’s a day that celebrates the best of humanity.”

Tom’s mum Peggy, from Springfield Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, was one of those cheering loudly when he crossed the finish line in 5hrs 20mins with just one blister.

To date Tom’s Marathon run has raised £1,250 for his chosen charity.

He said: “I applaud Bowel & Cancer Research for not only funding cutting edge research but passing on the positive message that bowel cancer is survivable if found early enough.”

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