Derick Jones has set a new personal best for watching the BBC coverage of the London Marathon, clocking an impressive 2:32:02.
Jones, an IT engineer who friends describe as an amateur armchair-sportsman at best, was inspired to watch the event after learning that Sir Mo Farah would be competing this year.
The 42-year old only started training for the six-hour event in February, watching just 20 minutes of the British Indoor Grand Prix before nodding off on the sofa.
Following a disappointing false start in March, when a BBC4 documentary on otters clashed with coverage of the European Athletics Indoor Championships, many predicted that Jones wasn’t ready for the greatest test of televised sporting endurance.
“I’m just not that bothered about sport, never have been,” Jones said.
“But there comes a time in a man’s life when you just want to be part of something bigger, to be able to hold your head up on Monday morning and say to your colleagues – yes I watched that.”
With support from his wife Sheila, Derick got off to a strong start turning on the TV in time to see the elite men begin their 26.2 miles.
“I knew my endurance would be a concern, so I played Fortnite for a bit and skipped the pre-race commentary.”
Around mile 14 Jones was struggling and said he thought the wheels had come off but was hanging in there.
“Sir Mo was trailing the pack, and I’d just lost interest really, but I said to myself, self, man up you can do this.
“Sheila handed me a bottle of water and a protein bar, and I just got my head down and tried to enjoy the lovely aerial footage of London.”
With Farah crossing the line in 2:05:39 Jones could taste the finish and gave it his all.
A push from Jones in the last fifteen minutes meant he was there to see fellow Brits Callum Hawkins and Charlotte Purdue both qualify for the World Championships.
Asked if he’ll be watching next year an exhausted Jones told us, “I don’t think so, a marathon is a once in a lifetime for me, I’ll probably just take the dog for a long walk and watch the highlights next year.”