Olympic athlete and heart attack victim Martin Gillingham backs MyMarathon challenge

23 March 2016        

Martin Gillingham

ITV Rugby World Cup commentator and former Olympic athlete Martin Gillingham is supporting our new MyMarathon challenge to fund life saving heart research, after recently surviving a massive heart attack.

We're calling on everyone across the UK to complete a 26.2mile run at their own pace over the month of May to help accelerate the fight against heart disease. Runners can complete their MyMarathon in their own time, whether it’s over 4 hours, 4 days or 4 weeks.

Gillingham, who represented Great Britain in the 400m hurdles at the 1984 Olympic Games, is backing the campaign after suffering a heart attack in June 2014. It emerged one of the main arteries in his heart – the left anterior descending (LAD) artery – was almost completely blocked and needed stents fitted.

Two years on, Gillingham is backing our new MyMarathon challenge to help get the nation active whilst funding vital discoveries in the fight against heart disease.

Funding lifesaving research 

In the UK from the time it takes for Martin to commentate on a rugby game, from kick-off to the final whistle, 10 people will lose their life to a heart attack.

>Gillingham said: “Many people believe heart disease is self-inflicted. That’s incorrect. I regard my experience as proof that it can devastate the lives of even the fittest and healthiest. There is no doubt that staying fit and active gives you the best chance of maintaining a healthy heart but, unfortunately, there is no golden ticket.

That’s why I’m supporting the BHF’s MyMarathon challenge as we urgently need to fund more research to accelerate the fight against heart disease. By taking part in MyMarathon you can help save lives and look after your own by getting active and building a stronger, healthier heart.”

You don’t need calves of steel or lungs of iron to run a marathon. Now everyone can go the distance! Run to work every morning, jog during your lunchbreaks or run laps around the park in the evenings; you decide the place and you decide the pace.

Every pound raised from MyMarathon will help us fulfil our ambition to fund half a billion pounds of new research in the next five years, to revolutionise and accelerate the fight against heart disease.

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