Physio runs Highland marathon to help patients cycle underwater

A physiotherapist has run 26 miles across the Scottish Highlands to gain funds for a specialist hydrotherapy bike.

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Blazej Pytko provides a hydrotherapy session to a patient with incomplete tetraplegia

Blazej Pytko is lead physiotherapist at Nairn Hydrotherapy Trust, a charity in the Highland town of Nairn.

On 30 July he took part in a gruelling multi-terrain marathon, to raise money for an ‘aqua bike’ that his hydrotherapy patients will be able to use in the pool.

‘The bike I’m planning to buy is placed under the water, helps strengthen lower body muscles and is designed to improve overall fitness levels,’ he told Frontline.

‘We’ve managed to raise £2,899 and the target was £2,500, and we still have one more fundraising event on 19 August, when we have a stall at the Nairn Royal Brackla Highland Games.’

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Mr Pytko took part in the Fort William Marathon, which started and finished at the Nevis Range Mountain Resort.

As well as passing by Ben Nevis, the U.K.’s highest mountain peak, other sites along the route included the Caledonian Canal and the River Spean’s High Bridge.

And despite it being Mr Pytko’s first marathon he managed to complete the challenge in four hours and 22 minutes.

Dedicated training

To prepare for the challenge Mr Pytko committed to a two-month training program that involved running between two to four hours, on most days of the week, and run a total of more than 300 miles.

‘When the training runs got longer and longer I didn’t have much time left for the other important things in my life, but I was motivated enough to do what it takes to prepare myself for  the marathon,’ he said.

‘I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t disappoint so many lovely, kind people who sponsored and believed in me.’

‘I started fundraising for the aqua bike because I know that with that kind of equipment I’ll be able to make a difference, even more than I’m trying to do now. It can help me to help others better.’

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by Robert Millett

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