Wales

London Marathon's last finisher 'ignored and laughed at'

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Media captionWhat kept Kerrie Aldridge running for more than nine hours?

The last finisher at Sunday's London Marathon has said she had a "brutal" experience being ignored and "sniggered at" by stewards.

Mum Kerrie Aldridge, raising money for a miscarriage charity, said the course was being cleared as she completed the marathon in nine hours and 11 minutes.

The criticism comes after another woman said she was called "fat and slow" by contractors at Sunday's race.

London Marathon organisers apologised, adding they were investigating.

Stewards were dismantling the course - including taking down mile markers and barriers - as Ms Aldridge from Cardiff finished the event, which attracted a record 42,549 runners.

She said she was forced to drink from half-empty discarded bottles of water because the refuel stops were no longer manned.

To make matters worse, she said some contractors were rude to her when she asked for directions.

"It was amazing and brutal all at the same time," said Ms Aldridge.

"You see the London Marathon as being the people's marathon with crowds and everyone screaming, cheering you on.

"But if you are a back-of-the-pack runner, you don't get that."

Image copyright Kerrie Aldridge
Image caption About half-way through the race, Ms Aldridge filmed herself visibly upset at the experience but said she was determined to carry on

She imagined crowds would be lining the road at London's famous landmarks.

"Everyone talks about the Tower of London being a defining moment - crowds from wall to wall," she said.

"I turned that corner and there were clean-up trucks sweeping the road.

"Stewards turned their backs and carried on their conversation or looked me up and down and sniggered at me," she said.

Image caption She finished the race in nine hours and 11 minutes

Ms Aldridge, who has one child, has raised thousands of pounds for the Miscarriage Association after having miscarried multiple times herself.

The 39-year-old said her negative experiences of the race made the positive ones all the more memorable.

"I had a woman who had three miscarriages come up to me and hugged me, and said 'keep on running, do it for my angel babies'," she added.

"Thousands and thousands of people messaged me saying 'you are my hero'."

The London Marathon apologised to Ms Aldridge as they "were very sorry to hear about her experience."

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