Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Runner fitted with pacemaker at North Pole

A BUSINESSMAN from Medmenham was this week bidding to become the first person with a pacemaker to complete a marathon at the North Pole

A BUSINESSMAN from Medmenham was this week bidding to become the first person with a pacemaker to complete a marathon at the North Pole.

Mike Shepherd, 49, will run 26.2 miles in nine laps around a Russian science station in temperatures of between minus 25C and minus 40C but with wind chill they could drop to minus 60C. He had his pacemaker fitted in 2012 after suffering three episodes where his heart stopped for several seconds, meaning he was technically dead.

Mr Shepherd, managing director of independent financial advisers Orchard House, left Britain on Sunday and hoped to complete the marathon on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the conditions.

?I?m apprehensive,? he said. ?I was absolutely convinced that I would be able to knock this one out in five or five-and-a-half hours but looking at the race results from the last few years, very few have done it in five hours. Anywhere between five and eight hours is considered a good run but that?s a long time to be slogging away. The mental exhaustion is going to be as bad as the physical exhaustion. I?ve been told ?don?t freeze the pacemaker!??

Mr Shepherd has previously run the London and Brighton marathons and has been training for 18 months for this challenge. He thanked staff at Henley triathlon specialists Athlete Service for providing him a training schedule.

He has raised almost £4,000 for Invest in Me, a charity which campaigns for research into myalgic encephalomyelitis, because his 18-year-old daughter Elizabeth has suffered from the condition since she was 12.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/mike-shepherd

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