Marathon runner denied Stratford Olympic Stadium finish
A gap-year student who ran more than 300 miles from Land’s End had his dreams of finishing at the Olympic Stadium dashed by Games organisers.
Arthur Gallimore, 19, successfully completed 12 marathons in just 20 days and had the Stratford venue firmly within his sights.
But Locog officials banned him from a photo finish on Saturday because of the volume of public events currently taking place on site.
Arthur’s father Simon, who followed him all the way from Cornwall, was told this was because the charity he was running for, LimXpo, is not an official Olympic charity - an allegation denied by Locog.
Celebrations took place instead on a roundabout just outside the Olympic Park.
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Despite the setback, Arthur raised a stunning �5,700 in aid of deprived Romanian children - well above his target.
He said: “This was incredibly disappointing news. I’ve put my heart and soul into taking on this challenge to raise money for a really worthwhile cause that I believe in.
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“I thought the Olympics were supposed to be about inspiring people to try harder and reach further.”
Arthur, from Kilburn, north London, started at Land’s End on April 2. He ran through Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire before finishing in London.
Mr Gallimore said: “I was hoping that when they saw what Arthur has achieved that Locog might do the decent thing, but sticking by their own self-serving rules seems more imporatnt to them.
“They say they get hundreds of similar requests, so their policy is to be fair and turn them all down.
“But surely putting the stadium on the map as a final goal for charity fundraisers would be fairer to us taxpayers who have paid for it.”
A Locog spokesman said: “We think it is a fantastic cause that Arthur is running for but we are organising an Olympic Games with lots of test events, we do not have the room.
“It wasn’t because he was not running for an Olympic sponsor.”