Inspirational Burnley radiographer becomes first person to complete London Marathon in a lead vest

An inspirational radiographer has become the first person to complete the London Marathon... wearing a lead vest weighing a stone!

Adam on his way to completing the London Marathon wearing a lead vest weighing a stone.
Adam on his way to completing the London Marathon wearing a lead vest weighing a stone.

Adam Wallwork, who is a diagnostic radiographer for the East Lancashire Health Authority Trust, finished the gruelling course in four hours, 17 minutes.

And so far he has raised just over £2,000 for the ELHT&Me which is the official charity of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The campaign aims to raise £1M for new equipment, improving facilities and enhancing the patient environment at ELHT’s two acute (Royal Blackburn and Burnley General) and three community hospitals (Accrington Victoria, Clitheroe and Pendle).

Adam (36) who lives in Burnley, had been hoping to set a world record and, even though this was rejected by Guinness, he was thrilled to achieve his objective to be the first person to complete the challenge in lead vest.

Adam said: "It was an amazing weekend.

"It was tough but I had done a lot of training in the build up to the challenge.

"I felt comfortable up to about the 18th mile then I started to slow down a little due to the extra stress to the legs and I did experience cramp.

The lead protection suit Adam, who is a member of Trawden Athletic Club wore was specially made and donated by Rothband. It is similar to the one he uses in radiology and weighs a staggering 14lbs.


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Adam is a keen and experienced mountain and fell runner and thinks nothing of running up and down Pendle Hill three or four times a week. He also competes in the Snowdon Race, a 10 mile endurance running competition in Gwynedd, from Llanberis to the peak of Snowdon.

He is also a veteran of the Ben Nevis Race that takes place annually from the foot to the top then back again.

So taking part in the London Marathon was a new challenge for Adam as it is on the flat. So to get in training for it he ran on a treadmill with a sandbag on his back.

Adam’s journey is both moving and inspirational as in 2006 he underwent brain surgery to treat his epilepsy, but suffered complications and was admitted into Rakehead Rehabilitation Centre.


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For Adam part of his rehabilitation was helping the other patients recover and after being discharged, he went on to volunteer at the Trust. He helped out in a variety of roles and this provided Adam with a glimpse of what working for ELHT would be like.

And it was while volunteering in Radiology that he decided on his career path and, after three years study, Adam’s journey brought him back to ELHT, as a diagnostic radiographer, supporting all areas of the trust, including NICU, performing crucial x-rays in order to aid the diagnosis and treatment of newborn babies.

To make a donation to Adam’s fundraising efforts visit his online page: