Man who battled Covid and leg injury set to run 26th London Marathon
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A 62-year-old father from Suffolk who has overcome coronavirus and a serious leg injury will be running his 26th London Marathon this year.
Simon Gallo, from Stratford St Andrew, contracted Covid-19 in March 2020 which led him to developing a rare skin condition pyoderma gangrenosum due to his weakened immune system.
He feared it would it cause him to lose his right leg.
Mr Gallo, who ran his first marathon in 1966, said the condition took advantage of a small cut in his leg, describing it as like a "zombie flesh-eating thing", but after treatment he is now "completely without pain".
The salesman, who is set to run the marathon in surgery scrubs, said he gained weight while on steroids for his injury but has managed to lose a stone and a half ahead of the iconic race.
Ahead of joining other runners in the capital for this year's London Marathon next month, Mr Gallo said: "I could not imagine not being there, because I got the bug.
"I'm not going to be running fast. I'm going to be walking some of it because I'm not fit.
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"I'm better but I'm not fit.
"I feel more like myself, the melon face has reduced, back to sort of almost normal for an old geezer like me.
"I'm just chuffed to bits that I'm able to do it and that it's on.
"The way I looked last year, I looked worse than the Michelin man.
"The face, the gait, the posture, I was just a mess.
"I'm a plodder who loves being part of it.
"It's still my ambition to do it in under four hours but I'm going to have to set my mind to that and do some proper training.
"It came to me as a shock when I was asked by my Army mate to find us a place in 1996 because he couldn't get in through the ballot."
Due to the event having to be held virtually last year, Mr Gallo ran laps of Ipswich Hospital to say thank you for the support staff provided him.
Mr Gallo will be raising funds for the NSPCC and the Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity with donations being made online.