When Mike Wicksteed retired last autumn, he decided he needed a challenging project with which to kick off the next phase of his life. Having never run a marathon before he thought it would be a good way to celebrate his 65th birthday in May.
For some years he had a problem with his left foot; to such a degree that he couldn’t even walk comfortably, let alone jog. One evening in October 2008 he was strolling along the Rue de Rivoli in Paris when his foot became so painful he just had to stop. After a major operation Mike had a foot that worked again and thought it would be great to run down the street, which occasioned the route to recovery. The decision was made and on 15 April 2012 Mike completed his first marathon in 5 hours and 22 minutes.
During the marathon Mike wore his Halo sport hat and Halo headband, he commented, “Given that I wear glasses they’re the best thing I’ve found to stop sweat getting in my eyes.”
He added “I have the medal and a marvelous memory of having achieved something pretty extraordinary in such a beautiful city. At the same time, I raised money for a worthy charity, the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).”
Mike explained “My mother died of breast cancer in 1957. Cancer never directly impacted on my life after that – until 2006 when my wife, Liz, was also diagnosed with breast cancer. Happily over the intervening 50 years since my mother died, cancer research resulted in a positive outcome for Liz, who now works at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).”
He continued ”I used my marathon to raise money for the ICR and the fabulous work it does across the cancer spectrum, much of it in partnership with the world-renowned Royal Marsden Hospital. The institute celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009 with the brilliant catch-phrase “help us make our first centenary our last”