Royal high five as Anthony crosses the line

Anthony receives his medal off Kate and, inset, the royals, William, Kate and Harry cheer on the runners
Anthony receives his medal off Kate and, inset, the royals, William, Kate and Harry cheer on the runners

A Wiganer got a royal seal of approval when running the London Marathon at the weekend.

Anthony Hilton, from Whitley, received a high five from both Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge, towards the end of the gruelling 26 mile race.

Anthony said: “The first time I saw the Royals was at about the 8km mark. I slowed down later in the race which actually resulted in me spotting them again at about 21- 22 miles. I took a quick detour across the track towards them and Harry high fived me, followed by Kate.”

And the national account manager for Jarden Consumer Solutions got to chat to Kate, who was at the showcase event to support mental health charity Heads Together, at the finish line when she handed him his medal.

Anthony said: “At the end of the run I spoke to Kate for about a minute or so, she said well done on running the marathon. It was amazing speaking to her; it was all a bit surreal! The 32-year- old added: “The race was really good; the weather was great too which helped.

“I’ve been doing quite a bit of training so it’s been going really well with the times. I really enjoy running,the training; everything. I ran the race in four hours and 15 minutes, beating last year’s time by 11 minutes, which was great.

“At the finish line my legs were in so much pain!”

Anthony, along with two of his friends, raised money for VICTA, a children’s charity that helps children and young people who are blind or partially sighted. In total, the three have raised about£3,600.

He plans to compete in the Manchester 10K in May and the Wigan 10k and Great North Run in September.

Meanwhile Wiganer Neil Tyrer used the occasion to propose to his girlfriend. The 40-year-old surprised his partner Lisa Hollinshead by popping the big question during the event.

He stopped at the side of the road, where Lisa was cheering him on and took off his running vest to reveal a proposal on the back of his T-shirt. It read: “Lisa will you marry me”.

Neil even had a ring, which he had been carrying during the race, and the pair sealed their engagement with a kiss.

The romantic moment was filmed and the video was posted on charity Ambitious About Autism’s Facebook page.