A Wigan dad is set to run a gruelling ultramarathon this week as a tribute to a popular high school teacher who died after falling ill in class.
Mike Hoban, from Gidlow, will traverse an enormous 50 miles on Friday to raise money for the North West Air Ambulance.
The 49-year-old primary school teacher hopes to raise £500 to support the charity’s “fantastic staff”, in memory of Joe Nolan, a chemistry teacher at The Deanery High School who died last week.
Mike, whose step-daughter is a Year 11 student at the school, said that he hopes to show support to the NWAA after they treated Mr Nolan when he collapsed before airlifting him to Wythenshawe Hospital where he later died.
“My step-daughter was talking about Mr Nolan,” said the St Andrew’s Primary School teacher. “She said he was lovely, a really nice man.
“I know the air ambulance had been there trying to help him.
“All of the students and staff were very shocked and affected by what happened.
“I know my step-daughter in particular got some comfort from the fund-raiser The Deanery did for him.”
Mike, who has two daughters and two step-daughters, also has gratitude for paramedics after they recently helped his dad.
On the same evening as Mr Nolan was rushed to hospital, Mike’s dad fell down the stairs, breaking his hip.
“Although we didn’t get an air ambulance, paramedics did attend and they were just fantastic,” he added.
“The doctors, the nurses, the porters, everyone at the hospital were just brilliant.”
Mike, who used to regularly donate to the air ambulance, decided to turn his personal challenge into a fund-raising opportunity, asking people to sponsor him to complete the mammoth race.
Although he has already ran nine marathons in just nine years, Mike has never competed in an ultramarathon, but says he is ready for the challenge.
“My last training run was a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “I did 32 miles.
I didn’t feel too bad afterwards.
“I tend to try and break it into 10k slots so I only need to add another three 10ks onto that to make 50 miles.
“I hope to complete it in 12 hours or less, I just really want to finish it.
“I have got a 14-hour cut off point so anything else is a bonus.”
The mega marathon, which starts at Old Trafford football ground in Manchester and finishes near Aintree in Liverpool, is so gruelling that competitors must wear their own backpacks complete with a litre of water, a survival blanket and food for the journey.
The fund-raising reached £450 in just 48 hours but Mike is hoping to raise as much as possible for the cause.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-hoban2