Scottish detour for London Marathon man

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The Independent Online

A runner whose wife is due to give birth has been granted permission to run tomorrow's London Marathon in Edinburgh, so he can be near herin case she goes into labour before he finishes.

At exactly the same time as 30,000 runners take to the streets of London - 9.30am - Mike Robertson, 35, will set off by himself - more than 400 miles away. He will be doing his 26 miles and 385 yards along the 1970 Commonwealth Games marathon course in the Scottish capital.

A spokeswoman for the Flora London Marathon said: "This is a special day for Mike. He entered the race in London, but became concerned about his wife. He asked us if he could run in Edinburgh because he had done so much work raising sponsorship for his charities. We decided on this occasion that we should support what is an unusual request."

Mr Robertson's wife, Joanna, is not expected to give birth until 5 May, but the couple wanted to take no chances because their first child, Max, arrived two weeks early.

So far Mr Robertson, who is hoping to beat four hours for the run, has pledges totalling £1,200 in donations to the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust provided he finishes the course.

Although he will be the only runner in Edinburgh aiming to complete the full race distance, about 20 people have offered to run part of the way alongside him, and a friend will follow behind on a bus.

The London Marathon spokeswoman said: "Mike says that if the baby arrives, say, on Friday before the race on Sunday, he will do the run in London. But we are not so sure that he will want to."