Half marathon runner: "Thanks for saving my life"By Vicky Smith
April 23, 2012
Runners, charities and community groups were applauded for their efforts to make Wokingham Half Marathon’s 27th year a huge success – but for one competitor the evening was particularly poignant.
During a presentation of awards and charity funds, Stuart Baddeley was handed back his running number, which was left on the course in February after he suffered a heart attack.
Mr Baddeley, 45, of Reading Road, Winnersh, presented a cheque to St John Ambulance volunteers, who were among those on the scene to treat him in the crucial minutes after he collapsed, saving his life.
The father-of-two, who returned to work last Monday, the same day footballer Fabrice Muamba was discharged from hospital having suffered a heart attack during Bolton’s FA Cup tie at Spurs in March, said: “You look at events with Muamba and the gentleman who died at Reading Half Marathon and I realise how lucky I am.
Mr Baddeley suffered a heart attack after the three-mile marker presented a cheque to St John Ambulance, which had volunteers on the scene who saved his life by using an automated external defibrillator to shock his heart back to life before paramedics arrived.
Mr Baddeley also took the chance at the ceremony at Wokingham Borough Council’s Shute End offices, to thank two nurses from Bracknell, an Army private and a doctor, who were also running the race and who performed CPR before the St John Ambulance arrived.
The sales manager, who plans to attempt the race again next year, said: “Everything that people did should be credited. I just feel so grateful to be here.
“It is fantastic to be here and see how much this race has raised for charity.”
Supporters and beneficiaries of the race, which took place on Sunday, February 19, gathered at on Monday to present awards and hand out cheques.
Peter Evans, chairman of the half marathon committee, presented cheques totalling £17,500 to community groups and charities with help from borough mayor Councillor Dianne King, whose nominated charity Berkshire Give a Child a Chance also received a boost on the night.
Cllr King said: “It is a fantastic event. This year I had so many people say it is one of the best half marathons to take part in. They love coming to Wokingham.”
Charities including Daisy’s Dream, a child bereavement charity; Crossroads, which provides respite support for carers; Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance; and town mayor Cllr Peter Lucey’s nominated charity Wokingham Citizens Advice Bureau all picked up cheques.
A donation was given to the cardiac unit at Royal Berkshire Hospital in recognition of the medical care Mr Baddeley received.
Local Scout and Guide groups also received money for the help they give supporting the marathon.
David Lumsden, from Wokingham Jumbulance, which provides holidays for disabled and ill people, said: “It is absolutely fantastic what you are doing for my own charity.”
The first Wokingham lady scooped the Malcolm Bryant award, which is sponsored by The Wokingham Times.
Carol Yarrow, 38, from the Finch Coasters, beat her previous best by four seconds and she will be running in the London Marathon on Sunday.
Other trophies went to:
- Jenny Robinson, Sue Turner, Nicki Fowler and Nicki Stanley – ladies team award.
- Ryan Brookling – first Wokingham man home.
- Lesley Whiley – first veteran lady home (collected by Tim Povey).