Mike's marathon run from the heart

Hertford resident Mike Aylott will wear a heart on his sleeves – and the rest of his body – when he runs the London Marathon in memory of his fiancée.

The 34-year-old from Roebuck Close, will wear a fancy dress costume in a shape of a heart when he runs in aid of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

Mike, who works for pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline in Harlow, has been raising money for the charity ever since his bride-to-be, Jane Starr, died last May – five months before they were due to tie the knot.

Jane was just 33 when she collapsed at work and died of heart failure. She led an active life and was not diagnosed with any life-threatening illnesses.

The cause of death was confirmed as a rare heart condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). CRY raises awareness that eight healthy, young people like Jane die from undiagnosed heart conditions every week in the UK.

So far, family and friends of Jane have raised around £20,000 for the charity. Mike did a parachute jump just weeks after her death and donations were made to CRY for his grandmother’s funeral last July.

Mike hopes to raise £3,000 with his latest effort and has pledges of £2,307. He will be joined by friend, Dave Carter, from Hertford, also running for CRY.

Regular runner Mike is aiming for a time of 3hrs 10mins – even with his restrictive clothing.

“The costume is light, but it’s not very aerodynamic – maybe I should be aiming for 3hrs 20mins instead!” said Mike.

Alison Cox, CRY founder and chief executive said: “We rely on the efforts of people like Mike to raise vital funds. Although we are able to reach more and more people who have been affected by sudden cardiac death, it is still astounding how many people do not know which way to turn when it happens.”

*To sponsor Mike, visit