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uly 19, 2012 RT
IT IS NOT every day you see two
marathon runners cross the line hold-
ing hands -- but then you couldn't
pigeon-hole SGT Lance Purdon as
your average athlete.
On July 1, he finished the Gold
Coast marathon holding hands
with his wife, Jodie Barker.
Their time for the
2.195km was 3hr 5min
5sec, making SGT Purdon
the leading Air Force finisher and
making Jodie, a public servant but
also secretary of the Navy Running
Association, the Defence female mara-
thon champion for the third time.
"I wanted to beat three hours,
however, four weeks after having
my pacemaker changed it wasn't to
be," SGT Purdon, who is stationed in
That's something that sets SGT
Purdon aside from many other ath-
letes -- his pacemaker.
Actually, it's his second one. The
first was fitted in 2003 the day after
his 31st birthday. Before he became
sick he had played Australian football
and then he was told he could never
play contact sport again.
Life became much brighter for him
when he met Jodie in late 2006.
"Our first official date was an
11km run at lunchtime," SGT Purdon
said. "For Jodie, this was a standard
lunchtime run but for me it was a
lot more. I pulled up pretty sore the
next day but thought how great it
was to get out in the fresh air, enjoy
myself and have such wonderful
The rest, as they say, is history.
They were married in Hawaii on
October 5 last year -- three days before
Jodie competed in the Hawaiian
Ironman. And they will celebrate their
first anniversary in Minneapolis in the
US this year just before the marathon
To Page 23
About 1½ km
out, we decided
together for a
-- SGT Lance Purdon
Meanwhile, in Cairns,
FLTLT Spencer Cox
was burning up the
100-metre track at the
Photo: Dominic Chaplin/Pine
A NEW VOW: Husband
and wife Jodie Barker
and SGT Lance Purdon
cross the line to the
cheers of the crowd.
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