Hospital visits set to increase thanks to 83-year-old runner

Mike Tansey is presented with a trophy for being the oldest finisher at the Two Castles Run. Pictures submitted
Mike Tansey is presented with a trophy for being the oldest finisher at the Two Castles Run. Pictures submitted

When it comes to raising money for charity, running a 10k would not be the first thing that springs to mind for your average octogenarian.

However, 83-year-old Mike Tansey did just that, becoming the oldest finisher of the Kenilworth Rotary Club Two Castles Run for the second successive year last Sunday.

Tansey on course with his son Will.

Tansey on course with his son Will.

It is not just about the money, though, or even a desire to remain active, with the opportunity to increase the profile of Warwick’s Lord Leycester Hospital proving the driving factor behind the retired orthopaedic surgeon’s impressive feat.

“A lot of people from Warwick and round about are aware of the Lord Leycester Hospital but haven’t been,” said Tansey who lives in Old Milverton.

“The more people that know about this iconic building the better.

“We just need them to go down there, have a cup of coffee and see what’s going on.”

Providing homes for wounded and needy soldiers for more than 450 years, the Lord Leycester is fundraising to upgrade its accommodation and Tansey said it was just the motivation he needed to pull on his running shoes.

“Way back I became a deputy patron, we’re talking 20, 30 years ago, paying an annual sum to help keep the thing going and we have a dinner once a year.

“That was my only link but when I heard about it needing more for restoration - it needs a lot of money spending on it to make it fit for the 21st century - I was not doing anything very much and I did the run last year to raise money.

“I raised a bit more this year but I’m doing it more to make people aware of the hospital and it seems to have had an effect.”

Three months of training went into preparing for his first attempt at the Two Castles and he followed the same schedule again this year, finishing within a minute of his 2018 time and claiming a notable scalp in the process.

“If you look at the time, it’s walking pace but I did run all the way apart from pausing at drinks stations.

“At 83 you can’t go all that fast - people were walking faster than I ran.

“My son [Will] was behind me in case I fell over and the net result is that I beat him by one second despite him being half my age.”

Tansey, whose daughter Rosie also took part, says it is too early to start planning for a hat-trick of Two Castles finishes, however.

“Whether I live long enough to do it next year remains to be seen.”

More information about the Lord Leycester Hospital can be found at http://www.lordleycester.com/