A Fenny Compton teenager will be among the youngest runners in this year’s London Marathon as he aims to raise enough to fund one mission for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.
Jack Zuliani has never forgotten that the service’s lifesavers came to his rescue when he was temporarily paralysed as a seven-year-old primary schoolboy.
Now 17, Jack only recently took up running - but he has discovered that he is good at it and is now aiming to run the 26.2-mile distance in three hours 15 minutes, while raising £1,400 for the cause.
The Kineton High School sixth former said: “I was playing British Bulldog in the school field at the Dassett School and I collided with one of the low goalposts. I was temporarily paralysed.
“My teachers called the ambulance and they decided, because it was a back injury that could be life-threatening, that it would be best to call the air ambulance because they can travel very fast.
“I remember feeling very, very scared and that the air ambulance arrived very quickly.”
Luckily, Jack had only suffered bruising to his back and was discharged from hospital a day later. But he has developed a huge respect for the air ambulance service. He said: “At the time, my dad was so thankful that he organised a disco and auction that raised more than £2,000 for the air ambulance.
“But now I’m older, I wanted to pay them back myself. It costs £1,400 for every mission, so I’d really like to raise that amount.”
Jack, who turns 18 on Tuesday, has, as part of his training, taken part in two half marathon events and has done well, so he is hoping for a good time.
On top of his training and A-level studies, he also works at the Merrie Lion pub in Fenny Compton, which has agreed to host an event to boost his fundraising in the spring.
To sponsor Jack, visit www.justgiving.com/JackZuliani