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Ipswich: Parkrun organiser Rory Marriott struck down by multiple sclerosis (MS) thanks mum-of-two for ‘becoming my legs’

22:02 22 May 2014

Linda Young and Rory Marriott, who have become fundraising partners at the Ipswich ParkRun. Pic: Paul Dorset.

Linda Young and Rory Marriott, who have become fundraising partners at the Ipswich ParkRun. Pic: Paul Dorset.

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A fundraiser who helped launch Ipswich parkrun before multiple sclerosis (MS) ended his running days has thanked the mum-of-two who has “become my legs”.

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Rory Marriott, event director of the weekly running club, has expressed his gratitude to Linda Young who has pledged to continue his fundraising efforts after he was diagnosed with primary progressive MS and left on crutches. The pair first met at a parkrun meeting in the autumn of 2012 in what turned out to be Mr Marriott’s last-ever race and Ms Young’s first attempt at the 5k run in Chantry Park.

“I raced round with her and helped her finish,” Mr Marriott, of Holbrook, said.

Ms Young had been inspired to get fit by the London 2012 Olympics and lost two stone in eight months after joining the club. But during that time Mr Marriott’s condition worsened.

The 46-year-old sought medical advice, which confirmed his worse fears.

“It was a big shock, but I just see it as an extra challenge for me,” he said.

“Ultimately, I would like to prove them wrong. They want me to prove them wrong, but I am realistic and if that is the case (that I cannot beat it) then I will find another sport which I can do with my condition.”

He outlined his target of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

“I was a Games Maker at the London 2012 Paralympics and was really inspired,” he said. “I could do cycling or something on the field like the javelin or shot put. Having MS could allow me to fulfil another dream.”

Ms Young, 34, of Didsbury Close, Ipswich, has raised more than £1,500 in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society after various running events.

Mr Marriott added: “I am unbelievably proud that Linda is doing this for me and fellow MS sufferers. She has become my legs.”

Ms Young said: “Rory challenges me every week. He has been a huge inspiration to me and everyone at parkrun.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/lindastryingtri to donate.

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