For most runners, completing a half marathon is challenging enough.
But Pardip Singh was determined to make things more difficult for himself – by pushing his baby the 13.1 miles in a pram.
Spectators were shocked to see Mr Singh running with his seven-month-old in tow at the Hillingdon Half Marathon on Sunday (April 12).
Father-of-two Mr Singh, 46, of Pinkwell Avenue, Hayes, said: “I definitely saw a few jaws dropping when they realised there was actually a baby in the pram.
“At the finish all these people came up to me wanting to shake my hand.
“It was just surreal. I felt like I'd just won the race, not like someone who ran with a baby in a buggy."
Ealing Eagles Running Club member Mr Singh began jogging with his eldest son, Harry – now four – when he realised his duties as a father were intruding on his exercise regime.
He had been used to running for up to an hour a day, but found himself spending more and more time changing nappies and tidying up.
After first running with Harry at his local park, Mr Singh soon began jogging all the way from Hayes to Ealing Broadway and back with his firstborn.
He has kept up the routine with his youngest son, Gary, who he hopes will one day become the next Usain Bolt.
Mr Singh said: “The doctor who delivered him at Hillingdon Hospital actually ran six marathons in six months for charity. I don't know if that's perhaps a good omen.”
Mr Singh, who is assistant manager at the Lotus Centre, a day care facility in Harlington Road, Southall, decided to take Gary along to the half marathon to encourage others to do likewise with their tots.
He said: “I did it for other parents who think they can't go out running because they've got to look after their children.
“I wanted to show that you can – you can take them with you.”
As shocked as those cheering him on were, no one was more surprised than Mr Singh to learn he had crossed the finish line in a respectable one hour, 55 minutes and 46 seconds – coming in 209th out of 367 runners.
He said: “I not only amazed myself, but also I think a lot of people around me and the club runners.”
He added: “Gary went to sleep at the first mile but woke up at 11 miles and he didn't want to sit in that pram any more. He wanted to see what was going on around him.
“Then he threw his toy out and I had to run back to get it.
“For the last two miles I was just panicking that I wasn't going to make it in the two hours I'd set myself.
“But luckily everything went well and he made it to the end.”