Among the 174 physiotherapy staff (127 women and 47 men) preparing for the London Marathon on Sunday there can’t be many who have set themselves as tough a pre-race build up as Jonathan Davis.
London-bound: Coventry and Warkwickshire volunteer physios for the last mile
Mr Davis, 37, pictured below, who runs Shires Physio in Warwickshire, will be preparing for the race with a two mile swim on Saturday night. He will then jump on his bike to cycle through the night, carrying all his food and kit, to the Marathon start line 112 miles away in Greenwich, south London.
‘I will cycle from midnight to about 7am hopefully arriving in Greenwich in time for some breakfast, a short rest, and a change into running clothes. I am cycling alone so if anything goes wrong it’s all down to me to suck it up,’ he said.
Mr Davis is running for Heart of England Mencap which supports children and adolescents with physical and mental health problems, providing them with access to sports and leisure activities.
‘Lots of young people with physical and mental health problems have great difficulties so we thought that to raise money for them I had better give myself something like an equal level of difficulty,’ he told Frontline.
Although he has completed three marathons ‘in around five hours’ and taken part in triathlons his training for the latest challenge has been hit by bouts of illness. And as an added factor to ‘keep me out of my comfort zone’, he hopes for a sub-four hour time.
It’s Norwich and Norfolk University Hospitals physiotherapist Sarah Cullum’s first marathon and given the forecast hot weather she hopes for a sub five hour run. She will be running for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust (CFT) as one of her friends has the condition and she has also treated patients.
Ms Cullum, pictured, has already raised more than £2,800.
Jessica Bateman the CSP rep for the Masters pre-registration physiotherapy degree at York St John University is also competing for the first time. Her charity is Meningitis Now and fundraising target is £2,000.
Continuing a tradition going back 15 years volunteer physiotherapists from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust will be on station at the marathon.
This year they will be covering the last mile to the finish line in The Mall, and expect a wide variety of problems ranging from muscle cramps to heat exhaustion.
Sue Crewe-Smith, the senior physiotherapist, who coordinates the volunteers, said: ‘I am very proud that so many of our physiotherapists have volunteered their free time to help out runners with their marathon efforts.’
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