A novice marathon runner from Staffordshire who was helped by St John Ambulance volunteers after he collapsed just 385 yards from the finish line during this year’s London marathon, has chosen to run for the first aid charity’s army of life savers in the Great North Run.
The iconic half marathon, which attracts more than 55,000 runners, takes place in Newcastle upon Tyne on 7 September.
Mike Tubb, 39, a construction manager who lives in Cheddleton, near Leek, was treated by first aiders for heat exhaustion when he collapsed near Buckingham Palace at mile 26 of the race in April this year. St John Ambulance first aiders treated an unconscious Mike on the track for 45 minutes and then stretchered him across the finish line to complete the race.
He said: "When I was eventually brought round, the first aiders moved me to the treatment areas. There were a few nervous moments when I didn’t know who I was or where I was. I was completely disoriented, but St John Ambulance was absolutely brilliant and potentially saved my life that day.
"I can’t thank them enough for their help and support. I was eventually handed over to doctors for further observation and treatment. I’m delighted to run the Great North Run on behalf of such a worthy charity."
Mike, who had not exercised for many years, was inspired to get fit by a work colleague who entered the British Iron Man contest. After a rigorous training programme to build his fitness and strength, including running, cycling and swimming, Mike dropped five stone in weight in just eight months. He took part in a triathlon and ran the Warwick Marathon, Stratford upon Avon, before setting himself the challenge of running the London marathon.
The traumatic experience has not deterred Mike from his aspiration to take part in more marathons and great runs this year. His target time for his first London marathon was 4 hours 15 minutes and with the help of St John Ambulance, he was able to finish in five hours.
Siobhan Sargeant, St John Ambulance’s North East Regional Fundraising Co-ordinator, said: "Our volunteers are trained to be the difference between life and death and Mike’s story highlights the importance of first aid support at sporting events. Often it takes a personal experience such as Mike’s to bring attention to vital life saving first aid. We are thrilled to have Mike running the Great North Run for Team St John Ambulance this year."
St John Ambulance believes that first aid skills should be available to everyone, which is why it teaches it to as many people as possible – in the community, for the workplace and to young people. Every year thousands of people die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live. The charity has more than 40,000 volunteers who are committed to training, caring and saving lives.
To find out more about St John Ambulance, or to volunteer for the charity visit www.sja.org.uk.