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Shea's 'overwhelming' London Marathon experience

Mayor of Boston's London Marathon runner Shea Holland has told of the "overwhelming" atmosphere at this year's London Marathon.

Boston Mayor Cllr Colin Brotherton sets marathon runner Shea Holland off on his journey to London

Mayor of Boston's London Marathon runner Shea Holland has told of the "overwhelming" atmosphere at this year's London Marathon.

He said the overall experience was amazing, although there were tensions with a visible police presence throughout following the Boston Marathon bombing.

Shea finished in four hours, 27 minutes and 53 seconds, enjoying a steady run without incident and no injuries.

He said: "It was amazing, out of this world. The crowd was amazing, deafening at times. It was really hot and I took every opportunity to get showered with water, including from fire hoses at a fire station.

"Children called out my name and wanted the runners to tap their hands as we went by. They held out sweets for us."

He said the eerie silence before the race in honour of the dead and injured in Boston, Massachusetts, was reflected in the silence when he was the first of 12,000 runners in blue zone to turn up in Greenwich at 6am.

He sported a black ribbon in memory of the Boston casualties and said there were police in the air in helicopters and on the ground with dogs and on motorbikes.

"But the atmosphere on the run was amazing - it was overwhelming in places."

His mum, partner and four children were there to cheer him on.

He plans to sign up for next year's London Marathon and will accompany his two sons on a 5k fun run at Woodall Spa in June.

Shea got the borough's seal of approval when he sported his official T-shirt.

The shirt and printing was donated by Chris Cook Print and Office Supplies, of Main Ridge East, Boston.

Shea and T-shirt reverse Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Shea's T-shirt, emblazoned with the legend "Running for the Mayor's Charities, Boston, Lincolnshire".

The reverse of Shea's T shirt declared he was also running in aid of Boston's Butterfly Hospice.

The London Marathon may now be over but Shea, of Tower Road, Boston, still needs your backing for the charities he is supporting - the Butterfly Hospice, St Barnabas Hospice, Boston Branch, and DOCATEF (Detection of Cancer and Treatment Equipment Fund).

Mayor of Boston, Cllr Colin Brotherton, said: "I don't think the Mayor's charities have ever had support from a London Marathon runner before. Shea trained hard and has done really well and I hope plenty of people will get behind him and offer him sponsorship."

If you want to help Shea support the Butterfly Hospice you can make a donation via www.charitygiving.co.uk/shealeigh or email him at shealeighholland@yahoo.co.uk

If you want to help Shea support the Mayor's Charities - St Barnabas Hospice, Boston Branch, and DOCATEF (Detection of Cancer and Treatment Equipment Fund) - contact Alison Hull, the council's civic and member services officer on 01205 314511 or email her at alison.hull@boston.gov.uk

Or you can do both!