Chefs on form for the London Marathon
April 23 2012 Lewis Smith
Tom Aikens defied a painful ankle injury to complete the London Marathon and to raise awareness of the problems of overfishing.
He crossed the line in 7,651st place with a time of 3 hours, 47 minutes and 2 seconds – and was back in the kitchen at seven the following morning.
The chef, rated 3.5 blue fish on Fish2fork for Restaurant Tom Aikens, was one of several to take part in the marathon.
Among the others was Michel Roux jr, rated 4.5 blue fish for La Gavroche, who completed the 26.2 miles in 3 hours, 54 minutes and 14 seconds, and Gordon Ramsay, rated 2 blue fish for Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, who finished in a time of 4 hours, 26 minutes and 21 seconds.
Mr Aikens revealed after the race that in the last weeks of training he discovered that he needs an ankle operation to remove a spur of bone. “I found out when I had a massage, a pretty hard massage – I nearly jumped off the table,” he said.
During the race he had to grit his teeth to overcome the pain, especially during the last five miles when his pace slowed noticeably. He took part in the marathon as part of a pledge to help the World Wildlife Fund’s More Fish campaign which is calling for reform of the European Common Fisheries Policy to halt to overfishing and discards.
The chef is now contemplating taking part in an even longer race, a 45 mile (65 km) event in Switzerland in July, but has yet to confirm his participation.
“The thought of it at this time horrifies me but give it another week and I might be in a different frame of mind,” he said.
Mr Roux was running for Victa, a charity set up to help visually impaired children, and like Mr Aiken was up early the following day to attend a Slow Food launch in Wales. Mr Ramsay was taking part in the marathon for the 12th time and he was running in aid of the Scottish Spina Bifida Association. He had recovered enough the next day to catch an early flight to the US.
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