South West Wales

London Marathon: Swansea Harrier to run with man he helped

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Media captionMatthew Rees helped David Wyeth up The Mall to the finish line of the London Marathon

A runner from Swansea who helped a stranger across the line at 2017's London Marathon will run this year's event alongside him.

Matthew Rees, 30, stopped his own race to help David Wyeth across the finish line after he collapsed 300 metres from the end of the 26-mile course.

Since then, the men have become friends and will both run in the 2018 marathon.

Mr Rees said: "We're just good mates now. You don't expect to make a friend when you are going to race."

Mr Wyeth, 36, from Chorlton Runners in Manchester was suffering from a phenomenon called the Foster collapse, which causes the muscles to shut down and severely limits movement, when Mr Rees of the Swansea Harriers club stopped to help him across the line, earning both men media attention.

"The fact the cameras were rolling - we filled that void between the elite runners finishing and the coverage switching to talk about the wonderful charity causes, we were part of that anonymous club-runner population," said Mr Wyeth.

"Neither of us have egos about the situation and we are both a bit perplexed by the attention, particularly that next day."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Matthew Rees still managed to finish the 2017 race in under three hours, finishing 986th in the men's race

Mr Rees added: "Since then, it was very similar if we had met in a pub or any other scenario, we compare training and we have been running today, we have done other events together, our partners get on as well."

Both men will now return to the circuit to run the race again.

"I think it is always emotional running the London Marathon, but especially this year after all that happened last year and the year we have had, coming back I think it will be emotional at the start, the finish and most of the way round," said Mr Rees.

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