Going the extra mile for premature babies

Mark Rose running in the London Marathon.
Mark Rose running in the London Marathon.

He wanted to honour victims of last week’s Boston Marathon bombings as well as his son Blake (2), who was born premature at 29 weeks.

Running the 42km London Marathon last Sunday, Mr Rose said he was relieved and overwhelmed when he crossed the finish line to see his wife Bronwyn and their son Aiden.

His thoughts were also with Blake, who had inspired his journey to raise nearly $60,000 for the Miracle Babies Foundation.

When the Western Suburbs Weekly spoke to Mr Rose on Sunday, he was on his way home to the family’s London accommodation to see Blake, who had stayed with a babysitter while the race was on.

‘I’m looking forward to giving him a big cuddle and spending a bit more time with him now,’ he said.

‘It was pretty emotional at the finish. A culmination of four months of pretty hard training and also many months of fundraising, which has been in some ways a lot harder than the training itself.

‘I’ve never pushed my body that hard for that long through voluntary pain.’

Mr Rose placed 17,507 out of about 35,000 runners, setting a time of four hours, 29 minutes and four seconds.

He said it was an unforgettable experience, which was only heightened by the Boston bombings.

‘The 30 seconds silence at the start was really very, very moving,’ Mr Rose said.

‘You had some 37,000 very excited runners all sort of chatting and gossiping away and then they blew the whistle for the 30 seconds silence for Boston and it all went very quiet. You could hear the birds singing in the trees.

‘It was almost sort of eerie and after the 30 seconds people clapped and waved their arms in the air. It was actually quite an emotional time.’

Mr Rose said over the days before the marathon he had spoken to many runners who said they never considered pulling out of the race.

He said the tragedy actually inspired more people to join the crowd in defiance of terrorism.

‘I caught up with some other runners who said they were having a chat to some potential spectators who were coming along though they normally wouldn’t, but almost to show defiance saying ‘Right, we’re not going to let these sort of people ruin our way of life’,’ Mr Rose said.

To donate, visit miraclebabiesfundraising.org.au/therosemarathon.