British Teen Becomes Youngest Person with Down Syndrome To Complete a Marathon

19-year-old Lloyd Martin set a Guinness World Record at the 2024 London Marathon.


Courtesy TCS London Marathon

Many records were broken at the 43rd running of the London Marathon, but one of the most notable was one set by 19-year-old Lloyd Martin. He was born with a hole in his heart and was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. When he crossed the finish line with a time of 6:46:10, he became the youngest known person in his disability category to complete a marathon, setting a Guinness World Record.

The London Marathon shared a touching video of Martin finishing the race and celebrating his accomplishment with his mom. “Thank you for showing us what’s possible, Lloyd,” the race organizers wrote on Twitter.

After undergoing surgery on both of his knees in 2021, Martin began running 5 kilometers at a time. The Daily Mail reported that the teenager began training for the marathon in December, coached by his mothe​​r, Ceri Hooper (an experienced marathoner). After Christmas, he began increasing his mileage and prepared for London with weekly long runs and treadmill speed work.

While Sunday marked Martin’s first attempt at 26.2 miles, he comes from an athletic background, and has completed more than 30 parkruns. The British athlete is an accomplished gymnast and soccer player who has competed with Special Olympics in Britain, earning a gold medal in the gymnastics vault event at the British Disability Championships last October.

Martin’s mother, Hooper, told the BBC that, “In Lloyd’s words,” completing the London Marthon was “achieving his dream.”

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