A RUNNER went through the pain barrier on Sunday to raise money for Bury Samaritans.

Les Smalley, of Bankhouse Road, Brandlesholme, completed the 26.2 miles of the London Marathon just months after being hit by a car while out cycling in training for a half Ironman event in August last year.

Mr Smalley, who celebrated his 49th birthday on Friday, said: “I was coming back from Bromley Cross, up the hill, when a car turned across me coming down the road and I hit him head-on.

“When I woke up in the road they told me I had a broken neck, a dislocated collar bone, and lots of other more minor injuries.”

The father-of-two spent two days in hospital, but had to wear a neck collar for six weeks.

Mr Smalley, who works as a printer in Trafford Park, says he feels lucky to be able to compete in the race after his ordeal.

He added: “I have been running 20 miles recently in training and it has been hurting my hip, but it could have been a lot worse.”

He has previously run the Manchester marathon, and although he did not initially set out to raise money in the race, after starting to receive cash from colleagues and neighbours, he sent a cheque to Bury Samaritans.

Following this, Mr Smalley decided he would raise some more money for the charity, based in Knowsley Street, and has already smashed his original £500 target.

He added: “I did the Manchester marathon, and people said, are you raising money for any charity?

“There have been suicides recently and if those people would have been able to ring them, things might have been different.”

Mr Smalley says he hopes to complete the run in less than three hours, after finishing the Manchester marathon in three hours and ten minutes.

Donna Webb, a volunteer at Bury Samaritans, which provides a telephone helpline and face-to-face support for people in need, said: “It’s fantastic that Les wanted to do this, and all volunteers at Bury thank him for his time and dedication and helping the branch with its fundraising.”

To donate to Les: visit justgiving.com/les-Smalley.