Warwick runner keeps defying the odds

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It’s not that long ago that Simon Perkin was warned he wouldn’t live to see his 50th birthday.

But the 49-year-old has sprinted well clear of the grim reaper - and has even launched his own running club for all abilities at Warwick Boat Club.

Three years ago, Simon had not one but two bone marrow transplants .

Last April he completed the London Marathon in three hours 31 minutes.

Before that he’d limbered up with the Warwick half marathon and the Leamington 10 kilometre Regency Run.

Along the way Simon raised £2,155 for the Anthony Nolan Trust which recruits people to the UK bone marrow register that in 2012 helped him to find a second donor, from Germany, after his first transplant failed.

Throughout his recuperation Simon has never forgotten that Warwick Boat Club, which has sections for rowing, tennis, squash and bowls, played a crucial part in helping him get back to fitness.

The new running section is free to any member who wants to turn up from 6.15pm onwards on Thursday evenings.

Simon says: “The emphasis is on fun - we will support people of all levels, even absolute beginners - it doesn’t matter if they want to jog, walk, jog.

At the end of 2012, Simon said: “After the last operation I was so prone to infection it meant I couldn’t go into any air-conditioned buildings such as shops or gyms, or crowded places like pubs and cinemas.

“Fortunately I joined the boat club and started playing social tennis which was great fun. It also proved to be my haven of peace, and definitely helped my recovery.

“Less than 18 months after being barely strong enough to open a packet of crisps, I was running the Warwick half marathon in one hour 38 mins, before going on to tackle the Regency Run and then competing in London.”

Throughout his training Simon got to know the club’s tennis coach Gavin Henderson pretty well. It was Gavin who asked if he would help start the weekly running club.

Now Simon, his wife Jane, who also runs marathons, and their rugby-playing son Edward, are determined to continue to raise even more money for the Anthony Nolan Trust.

As well as helping start the new running section, Simon, who will be 50 next month, visits schools and clubs to encourage more people to become potential lifesavers by registering with the trust.

To find out more visit www.anthonynolan.org/registerandbe