Seven Cardiac Athletes made a special trip to Saturday’s (24 November) Telford parkrun in memory of a pioneering member of their group. They ran to remember the late Mike Gardner who passed away last Sunday.
Cardiac Athletes is a community of people with heart conditions who live life to the full, participating in sports such as running after being medically cleared to do so. Many of them have been given a second chance at life and show that being diagnosed with a heart condition doesn’t stop them from enjoying their favourite activities with the support of others.
One of the pioneers was Mike Gardner who embodied everything about Cardiac Athletes with his ‘can do’ attitude and determination to succeed. He took up running in 2016 after recovery from a stroke, three heart attacks and hip surgery and completed races across a variety of distances. He ran his 50th parkrun in October and posted a sub-30 time, the delight of which could be seen by everyone.
Amongst the group who travelled to Telford was Martyn Bidgood whose life was saved by another member of the group, Nicky Brierley after suffering a cardiac arrest in March 2015. It was a poignant run for Martyn and the other six; however, they did so with smiles on their faces as they joined 460 people on a chilly morning in Telford Town Park. There was also a minute’s silence for Mike at Arrow Valley parkrun with many people wearing blue, the colour of his running group Cofton Park Runners.
Mike Gardner was a friendly, outgoing member of Cofton Park Runners and a regular attendee at Arrow Valley parkrun. He will be sadly missed.
Image courtesy of Martyn Bidgood.