Virtual London Marathon conquered by Danny's mum in crisis centre bid

Sue Willgoss running the virtual London Marathon outside the Carlton pub.

Sue Willgoss running the virtual London Marathon outside the Carlton pub. - Credit: Mick Howes

The mother of Danny Willgoss has conquered the virtual London Marathon, driven by a bid to open a mental health crisis centre in Lowestoft.

Sue Willgoss walked the 26.2mile distance around the town to raise vital funds for the centre.

She completed the course in under eight hours, with a time of 7:55:52, on Sunday, October 3 - her son's birthday.

Barbara and Wally Dell with Sue and Terry Willgoss during the virtual London Marathon.

Barbara and Wally Dell with Sue and Terry Willgoss during the virtual London Marathon. - Credit: Mick Howes

She said: "In lockdown I had a shoulder injury and a hip problem, so I am really pleased with myself that I have now achieved this level of fitness.

"I decided I would not be able to run the full distance, but will walk most of the way.


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"In preparation, one of the personal trainers at the gym helped by setting me a walking challenge of 10,000 steps a day.

Sue Willgoss was running the virtual London Marathon to raise money for a 24-hour crisis centre in Lowestoft. 

Sue Willgoss was running the virtual London Marathon to raise money for a 24-hour crisis centre in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

"I applied for a ballot place in the actual London Marathon and, although I was unsuccessful, I did receive an early bird entry into the virtual event.

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"I wasn't nervous about the distance, just excited, even at the thought of walking for seven-and-a-half to eight hours."

After an inquest into the 25-year-old's death at his home in Cambrian Crescent, Oulton, concluded last month, Mrs Willgoss spoke of her "ultimate goal" of opening a 24-hour suicide crisis centre in Lowestoft.

Caroline Gosling and Andy Elvin with Sue and Terry Willgoss at the start of the virtual London Marathon outside Mammoth Gym

Caroline Gosling and Andy Elvin with Sue and Terry Willgoss at the start of the virtual London Marathon outside Mammoth Gym - Credit: Mick Howes

Mrs Willgoss has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of mental health since her son's death in June 2018 and was appointed as a suicide prevention officer at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust earlier this summer.

She said: "We have raised almost £1,000 for the mental health crisis centre which is brilliant and for which I am very grateful.

"This helped to motivate me while I was walking, and I also had a lock of Daniel's hair in a locket with me so he was with me on the journey too."

Sue Willgoss with supporters outside the Carlton pub as she takes on the virtual London Marathon.

Sue Willgoss with supporters outside the Carlton pub as she takes on the virtual London Marathon. - Credit: Mick Howes

Mrs Willgoss wasn't walking alone, with her husband, sister and her partner, joining her for the first lap from Mammoth Power Gym to the Carlton pub and back.

Friends and more family members joined the challenge throughout the day as she carried out more laps between the gym and Claremont Pier.

Daniel Willgoss.

Daniel Willgoss. - Credit: Willgoss family

To donate, go to: www.gofundme.com/f/liftloudfordanny-virtual-london-marathon.

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