Driffield News

No half measures for runner Andrew

A Beeford man has completed seven half-marathons on his treadmill in as many days as he continues to recover from a routine operation that went horribly wrong.

Andrew Elliker-Reeve set himself the challenge of running and walking the 13.1-mile distance on seven occasions in his garden shed to mark his return to fitness, both physically and mentally, after an horrendous 20 months that have changed his life forever.

In a bid to restart running on a serious basis, Andrew went into hospital for a vascular operation, which would allow greater blood flow to his legs.

What should have been a straightforward operation saw Andrew lose his sight, whilst he was also left with no colon, no working spleen, a partially collapsed lung and sepsis.

It’s been a long road to recovery since, but six months after returning to running, with the help of his guide Sue Beever, Andrew has now entered a 10-kilometre event that will take place in Hull next year.

He told the Wolds Weekly how running has acted as therapy and helped him come to terms with the effects of the operation.

“I went in for vascular surgery in February 2020 and it went wrong,” said Andrew. 

“I was left with no colon, no working spleen, a partially collapsed lung, sepsis and I’m now blind.  

“It was a shock to the system to say the least. I was in hospital for 11 weeks and spent lots of months trying to return to normal. 

“During this time, I was saying to myself ‘why the hell am I here?’ and thought what use could I be to anyone. 

“I came home as a 10 stone weakling but by December, I felt well enough to walk on a treadmill and do a couple of miles every day. 

“That carried on until March, when I started to feel quite fit. In April, I started doing some running on the roads, with a guide, and I’ve continued with that for two or three hours every week. 

“My old treadmill burnt out but I managed to acquire a new one and I’ve continued to get fitter since. 

“My aim is to complete a 10K in Hull that I have entered.”

Andrew Elliker-Reeve

Having only decided to take on the seven half-marathons a fortnight previously, Andrew completed the challenge last Wednesday (20th October).

As he closed in on the ‘finish line’, he paid thanks to all those who have helped him over the last two years, particularly his wife, Rebecca, who has been with Andrew every step of the way.

You can view Andrew’s blog by visiting www.facebook.com/travellingblind

“This idea came to me only a couple of weeks ago when I said to my wife Rebecca that I wanted to complete seven half-marathons in seven days,” he said.

“I’d only ever done one on the treadmill before so I had no idea whether I would be able to do it or not.  

“It was a proper challenge and day five was a killer, it has to be said. However, I didn’t feel too bad at all on the final day, apart from a few aches. 

“These challenges are helping me get through everything. Rebecca has nursed me through it all. 

“If you ever want to know if your wife loves you, go through what I have and, believe me, you find out.  

“There is hope from a situation like this. I’m getting a huge amount from a blog I am writing and that has given me a sense of purpose. 

“My friends have also been fantastic, whilst the local doctor’s surgery in Beeford has been out of this world. 

“Right from day one, Rebecca was told that if she was in doubt, she should pick up the phone and they have always been there to answer it. 

“And it’s not just me they’ve shown care for, they have shown care for Rebecca too, as they know the effect this has had on her. 

“I’ve enjoyed doing the half marathons. Endurance is always something I’ve been able to handle. 

“It’s been fun, although mentally tiring at times. I’m over the moon that I’ve achieved something like this after everything I have had to go through.”

You can view Andrew’s blog by visiting www.facebook.com/travellingblind

Andrew Elliker-Reeve on the Readmill

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