03:57PM, Tuesday 06 October 2020
Photo credit: Alexander Walker / Mencap
Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex joined a London Marathon runner for a section of the race on Sunday in support of a learning disabilities charity.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is married to the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
She has been patron of Mencap UK since 2004 and ran 1.5 miles through Windsor Great Park alongside Tomas Cardillo-Zallo, who completed the 26.2 miles of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.
Tomas, who has a learning disability, was selected to take part in the marathon by colleagues at Virgin Money in support of the company’s chosen charity.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions London Marathon runners covered 26.2 miles on a route of their choice.
The Countess of Wessex, said: “It was an honour to join Tomas even just for a small part of his triumph today, as he completes the virtual London Marathon in support of Mencap.
“Tomas has shown what people with a learning disability can achieve with the right support. He is an inspiration.”
Tomas added: “Thank you to Her Royal Highness for supporting me to run my first ever marathon. I loved every minute of running the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.”
He was one of 312 runners who supported Mencap in this year’s London Marathon to help raise awareness and change attitudes towards people with learning disabilities.
Edel Harris, chief executive of Mencap, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex for running part of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon with Tomas to help raise awareness about learning disability.
“While Mencap runners didn’t have the race day they expected this year, with the support of The Countess and many others we have made sure that Mencap runners have had the day they deserve.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported Mencap’s runners. Your generosity means we can continue to support people with a learning disability to lead happy and healthy lives – just like anyone else.”
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