A heart patient from Lillington will be lacing up his running shoes and taking on the Warwick Half Marathon just 11 days after his 60th birthday.
Marcus Hamilton, of Briar Close, underwent open heart surgery for a double bypass operation in 2011.
After suffering what he thought was heartburn he went to his GP when the pain did not go away.
He said: “I went straight into Warwick Hospital for an angiogram. I thought the worst case might be having a stent fitted, but I was told I needed open heart surgery to remove the blockages. I was taken to Coventry and Warwickshire hospital to await surgery to repair the two blocked arteries they had found.
“As I live on my own, I needed someone to take care of me after my operation. I had no family nearby, so my neighbours kindly stepped up and took me in for two weeks to help me during my recovery.”
Mr Hamilton, a former Mid Warwickshire Champion at school cross country running, said he always thought of himself as being fit and healthy before the operation and he never smoked and hardly ever drank alcohol.
I am convinced that it is thanks to the research they fund that we have seen such improvements in treatment for heart patients.Marcus Hamilton
After he was given the all clear he took up jogging and later took part in a 10k run.
And when he spotted the Warwick Half Marathon Mr Hamilton thought “that’s my next challenge”.
He is aiming to raise £200 for the British Heart Foundation and to complete the course in about two hours.
Mr Hamilton said: “The BHF is a fantastic charity and I am convinced that it is thanks to the research they fund that we have seen such improvements in treatment for heart patients.”
Runners can sign up at Warwick Racecourse at 8am on Sunday with entry priced at £28 for those affiliated with a running club (UKA) or £30 for those who are not.