Captain Tom inspires Torquay schoolboy Leon in marathon challenge

Torquay schoolboy Leon Snell - inspired by Captain Tom Moore

Torquay schoolboy Leon Snell - inspired by Captain Tom Moore - Credit: Archant

Torquay schoolboy Leon Snell was so inspired by war veteran Captain Tom Moore he decided to follow in his footsteps

THE amazing fundraising achievements of 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore has inspired one Torbay youngster to take on a marathon challenge for charity.

Leon Snell, who is nine and attends Watcombe Primary School, ran the full marathon distance of 26.2 miles in six days to raise funds for NHS charities.

Mum Kelly said: 'He had seen Captain Moore on the news and is a kind-hearted boy. The next day, he decided to take on a challenge of his own. Initially, he wanted to run around the garden like Tom Moore had done.

'He then heard it should have been the London Marathon, so he decided to run the marathon distance. He was running two or three miles at a time and three separate runs each day. It was either in the garden or laps of the cul-de-sac where we live.

'It was a lot of running for little legs and he had some company from his dad, Alex, as well as older brother, Jude, and younger sister, Ayda-May.' Leon had to fight through the pain barrier but completed his quest with impeccable timing.

Kelly said: 'We've got astro-turf in the garden and he ran barefoot one day, which did leave his feet a little sore. On day six, his legs were really hurting but it was a Thursday, and he wanted to finish at the same time as the Clap For Our Carers.

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'He still had five miles to complete but managed to round it off at 8pm. During the week, our neighbours had been cheering him on and most of the cul-de-sac was outside encouraging him through the last lap.'

Leon's target was to raise £260. He actually managed over £1,200.

His inspiring effort makes him an ideal nomination for the Torbay Weekly Our Heroes initiative. The campaign, run in partnership with Majestic Holidays, aims to recognise individuals and organisations who have gone out of their way to help others in the current crisis.

If you would like to nominate please send the details of who and why – with a photograph – to We are hoping to stage a celebration event to honour all Our Heroes once current restrictions allow