Man sprints to briefly lead London Marathon - all to prove his friends wrong

  • Watch the moment Richard Lee-Wright took the lead of the London Marathon

A Devon man who stole the spotlight at the start of the London Marathon by sprinting to the front did it to win a six-year-old bet.

Richard Lee-Wright ran past some of the world's top athletes to briefly lead the race yesterday (Sunday 2 October).

He could then be seen punching the air as he made it to the front and briefly lead the race.

It comes after he bet a friend years ago that he could lead the race, prompting six years of special training.

The 38-year-old worked hard to gain a time which would qualify him to be in the front pack of runners to start the race.

When it got underway he sprinted to the front of the pack past some of the world's top athletes.

Although his lead only lasted a few seconds Richard, from Uffculme in Devon, finished in a respectable 3 hours and 23 minutes.

Speaking ITV News West Country, he said: "It was to settle a bet, prove I could do it and get my moment of glory.

"I felt absolutely incredible, it was such a buzz, just running along there and the crowd going crazy.

"Then I turned around and saw the elite runners and they were behind me, which was a bit of a surprise as I thought they'd be right with me and I just soaked it all in, it was fantastic.

Richard Lee-Wright with his London Marathon medal Credit: ITV News West Country

"I did it for two or three minutes, then I let the elite runners back in the race."

The runner said he has since had a host of messages from well-wishers.

"I'm tired because it's gone a bit crazy on social media," and people have been contracting me which has been nice, it's brought a bit of a smile to people's faces

And when questioned about any future plans to get in the spotlight Mr Lee-Wright said: "That's it for the time being!"

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