Help support tutor’s marathon mission

Tutor Simon Bryson is appealing for support for his marathon mission to raise £2,500 for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance after it helped save his life.

The Programme Leader for Fd Tourism Management and FE Tourism is running the London Marathon next year in aid of the charity, which came to his rescue following a near-fatal accident in June, 2015.

Simon was mountain biking with son Euan, who was 13 at the time, near Willingham Woods in Lincolnshire, when his front tyre blew out after landing a jump.

The 53-year-old was airlifted to Hull Royal Infirmary, where he spent almost three months recovering from multiple fractured ribs, a broken collarbone, a double pelvic fracture, punctured lung and fractured neck.

Despite hearing from consultants that patients with lesser injuries had not lived to tell the tale, Simon recovered enough to take part in the Southwell Last Min Tri just a year after leaving hospital.

Determined to repay the £1,200 it cost to fly him from Market Rasen to Hull, he powered through the 400m swim, 14-mile bike ride and three-mile run, raising a final total of £3,500.

Many would have stopped there, but Simon decided to take his fundraising efforts one step further by entering to run next year’s London Marathon.

“I was watching it this year and got all emotional, seeing people with far more complex injuries and dreadful stories than mine.

“I thought if they could do it then it’s time for me to pull my socks up, so stupidly I signed up for one of the 35,000 places with 385,000 other people.”

While Simon’s entry into the ballot eventually proved unsuccessful, he had more luck with an application made through the air ambulance.

“I sent them an email on the off chance and they said, as a former patient and with the fundraising and motivational talks I’ve done on their behalf, I’d be quite high up the list.

“When I found out I hadn’t got in through the lottery I breathed a huge sigh of relief, but five days later I got the email from the air ambulance congratulating me on entry.”

A member of Caistor Running Club, Simon will be stepping up his training plan in the New Year in a bid to complete the marathon in four hours and 30 minutes.

He is also appealing to friends, colleagues and the public to support his mission to raise £2,500 for the air ambulance.

“As with my previous fundraising, I’ve had great support from the Institute and its senior management team. It’s one of those charities that can unfortunately touch us all.

“They truly saved my life. When I asked Euan how he felt seeing me put in the helicopter, he said: “I didn’t think I’d see you again, Daddy”.”

Simon is also taking inspiration from his mother Gwen Thomson, who sadly passed away this summer.

“She was climbing mountains up to the age of 75,” he said. “When I told her I was entering the marathon she said I was being stupid and taking it to the extreme, but I know she’d secretly be really envious and impressed.”

To donate to Simon, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=SimonBryson&faId=887566&isTeam=false