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Man Sets Marathon Record: 121 Hours

November 09, 2002|From Reuters

NEW YORK — Lumbering up the last stretch in an antique 130-pound diving suit, Lloyd Scott finished the New York City Marathon on Friday a full 121 hours after the starting gun was fired.

As workers dismantled the bleachers from Sunday's race, friends and supporters cheered Scott as he broke through a blue ribbon in Central Park after having traveled the 26.2-mile course at a turtle's pace.

Scott, a 41-year-old British citizen and former firefighter who overcame leukemia 10 years ago, purposefully took on the tortuous and slow task to raise money for cancer victims and the New York Fire Department.

"I'm tired but delighted to finish," the tall, broad-shouldered Scott said, as friends removed the suit's 40-pound bronze helmet.

While Scott's performance was billed as the slowest ever in the race, marathon officials would only reiterate that the course closes 8 1/2 hours after the start for able-bodied participants and 11 hours for those with disabilities.

Scott crossed the finish line a little after noon, five days after the race got underway. He spent nights at firehouses along the route.

The men's winner, Rodgers Rop from Kenya, completed the route in 2:08:07.

A drained Scott said his trek had been "hard going," especially climbing the span of the Queensborough Bridge in the lead-weighted boots.

"When you put on a 130-pound suit and physically try to get up those inclines, it wears you down a bit," he said. Two friends helped him along the course, and Scott frequently would pause to rest and drink water.

The idea came about as Scott tried to think of the most absurd and challenging way to make a statement about the difficulties of battling cancer and leukemia while raising money for the charity he works for, Cancer and Leukemia in Childhood. Along the route, he raised about $1,000, but returns from the Web site had not been counted, Scott said.

He also finished the London Marathon this year in the same deep-sea diving suit.

"It symbolizes the battle of cancer and leukemia sufferers, a long, slow, painful journey," Scott said, who was joined at the finish line by his friend and bone marrow donor, Andrew Burgess.

"It might give them some hope, some encouragement to fight their own personal battles."

Scott said he shed about a "stone," or 14 pounds, during the marathon, "but I've got plenty to spare." Scott has finished marathons in about 3 1/2 hours without the gear.

"I've slowed down a little now since I can't break five days," he said.

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