Lloyd Martin
19-year-old Lloyd Martin completed the 26.2-mile London Marathon (Screenshot: TCS London Marathon/ Youtube)

19-year-old with Down's syndrome, Lloyd Martin has amazingly set a world record at the London Marathon after completing the 26.2-mile race with only five months of training.

After several years of being turned away by sports clubs, his mom took it upon herself to train the young athlete.

Upon completing the race, Martin was promptly awarded a certificate from the Guinness World Records for being the youngest in his disability category to finish the marathon. During a Good Morning Britain interview, Martin said it was important to "always have your dreams be with you. Be yourself and always live and dream."

He highlighted the importance of having family and friends who have your back during the race, "It's not about the timing... (it's about) having fun with them."

During the interview, Martin's mother, Ceri Burnell, recounted her son's hardship growing up in Hampshire as he was repeatedly turned away from "all abilities sports clubs."

"As a baby, the acceptance seemed to be there, but as he started getting older and wanting to join gymnastics, football clubs, and other things, I would be told he needed a one-to-one."

"For years, people with Down's syndrome were basically shoved away not to be seen and not to be heard," she shared. "It was tough to constantly fight, but we are changing those stereotypes, and inclusivity now is far greater than when he was growing up."

"Hopefully, the word is out there now. You have to accept our kids and give them the best chance ever - because it is possible. They can do these things."

Before joining the London Marathon, the first time Martin completed 18 miles in one run, he had already completed 40 other runs - albeit much shorter and less strenuous.

As an accomplished runner, Burnell, who has completed the London Marathon four times and represented Wales in track and cross-country races, decided to train Martin herself.
The preparation entailed weekly runs, football, and gymnastic classes.

During the race, she recounts that there were times when Martin's energy would dip, and he'd start walking, but the crowd would start cheering for him, and he'd be off again.

"He was just breakdancing, doing cartwheels on the Embankment, and just having a whale of a time."

When asked whether or not Martin would be joining any other marathon soon, his mom said she'd ask him about it, though they'd love to improve his park run time. Martin also has a gymnastics competition lined up in September.