A student dressed as Tenderstem broccoli floret heroically completed the London Marathon despite a painful injury incurred early in the race.

Marks & Spencer and Arbor sponsored ironman Andrew Mackay to run the gruelling 26-mile course in aid of the Imperial Cancer Research fund.

Wearing a green Afro-style wig, jade tracksuit bottoms and M&S t-shirt, the race started well enough for Mackay – but heartbreak occurred on the 9-mile mark when the human brassica pulled up with ligament damage.

But after receiving medical attention, Mackay was determined to finish the race – and did so, raising £1,000 for the medical charity, and earning a photocall and glamorous caption competition slot with 'quite-a-catch' model Leigh Kearns.

The Miss South Africa candidate is both brains and beauty - she already holds a law degree and promotes the sweet and tender M&S brassica while studying for a postgraduate qualification in marketing.

Mackay may have got the girl, but he was one of many fruity entrants in the metropolis's annual athletics showcase.

Royal Marine Nick Courtis was game enough to complete the course dressed as an apple on behalf of the National Asthma campaign. The forces macho waddled along the Thamesside route in a Capespan green apple outfit, to promote the product as a key food in the battle against respiratory disease.

But despite of the problems the two men incurred while racing in inappropriate attire, they would have been sat with their feet up in front of Blind Date while one Lloyd Scott was still completing the first mile.

Ultrafit Scott, a former Watford goalkeeper, completed the marathon in 3 hours 11 minutes in 1989, but this year decided to enhance the challenge by wearing a 120lb diving suit.

The crazed sportsman was in Docklands – approximately halfway – when the Journal went to press and was complaining of pains incurred by the 22lb boots he was wearing.

Such is the publicity in London's local press that drivers have been stopping to give him money when they see him struggling along the taxing route.

Scott, who is sleeping in a mobile-home driven by his wife Carole, said: 'People say I must be mad and they are right. They suggested I wear flippers and a snorkel but that was too boring for me. I've got a couple of soldiers from the Royal Green Jackets here to help me if I topple over.' On current pace, he is expected to stumble up to the Buckingham Palace finish line by Friday [April 19] night, and raise a stunning £100,000 for his favourite charity Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood.

The father-of-three is a former sufferer of the disease.