British Teen Becomes Youngest Person with Down Syndrome To Complete a Marathon

Written by Erika Petrie

April 27, 2024

Many records were broken at the 43rd running of the London Marathon, but one of the most remarkable was set by 19-year-old Lloyd Martin from Cardiff. He was born with a hole in his heart and was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. When he crossed the finish line with a time of 6:46:10, he became the youngest known person in his disability category to complete a marathon, setting a Guinness World Record. Indeed he is the youngest person with a learning disability to complete a marathon, alongside his mum Ceri Hooper, who has previously represented Wales in cross country and track events.

The London Marathon shared a touching video of Martin finishing the race and celebrating his accomplishment with his mum. “Thank you for showing us what’s possible, Lloyd,” the race organizers have said on social media.

After undergoing surgery on both of his knees in 2021, Martin began running 5 kilometers at a time. The Daily Mail reported the teenager began training for the marathon in December, coached by his mothe​​r, Ceri Hooper (an experienced marathoner). After Christmas, he began increasing his mileage and prepared for London with weekly long runs and treadmill speed work.

While Sunday marked Martin’s first attempt at 26.2 miles, he comes from an athletic background, and has completed more than 30 park runs. The British athlete is an accomplished gymnast and soccer player who has competed with Special Olympics in Britain, earning a gold medal in the gymnastics vault event at the British Disability Championships last October.

Martin’s mother, told the BBC that, “In Lloyd’s words,” completing the London Marathon was “achieving his dream.” She also added “We did not say a lot when we crossed the finish line, we just burst into tears”.


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