It’s mission accomplished for personal trainer Michael King, who has completed his challenge of four half marathon runs in support of our patient care.
Adding weight to the strenuous fundraiser was the fact that Grenoside based Michael was running in a turtle shell as a tongue-in-cheek tribute to wife Michelle, who was a St Luke’s patient before her death in 2019.
The challenge began with Michael successfully competing in the Sheffield Half Marathon, followed by similar distance runs to Wentworth, Bradfield and then Bakewell, raising a final total of £2,574.
“It was a hard challenge if I’m honest, a real tester but I wouldn’t have missed doing it because it was all about raising money in memory of Michelle and I wasn’t on my own because I had some great people running with me,” said Michael.
Psychiatric nurse Michelle was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 but having survived that initial illness, she was later found to have developed a brain tumour.
“In the end she went into St Luke’s and all I can say is that the support we received from everybody there was incredible,” said Michael.
“It might sound a strange thing to say but Michelle loved it at St Luke’s, she thought it was fantastic.
“She was there for three weeks and then she took a turn for the worse and she died in October 2019 but the care everybody gave her was really outstanding.”
Michael’s quartet of half marathons isn’t the first time he has raised money for our services – he has also taken part in Sheffield’s famous Percy Pud race, and led an ascent of Scotland’s Ben Nevis - bringing his fundraising total to more than £10,000.
The turtle shell has become an important part of every challenge, though it started as a jokey tribute to Michelle.
“She was always ‘Mi Shell’ to me so that’s what I run in even if it does make the challenge that bit harder,” Michael explained.
“All four runs together brought the total up to 52 miles and I think now my running days may be coming to an end.
“Next year, though, I’m planning to walk to Scarborough, which is around 100 miles and should take us around four days to complete.”