Mark defeats injury to take on Birmingham Half Marathon
While many of us sit on the sofa on Sundays, Glascote dad Mark Cuff is taking on the ultimate challenge of running half a marathon today (Sunday, October 21) – and it is especially incredible as Mark was seriously injured in a car crash two years ago.
The accident, in March 2010, left Mark's legs crushed after he was hit by a car in Birmingham.
But his determination to get back into running never wavered, even when doctors told him he might never walk again, and today (Sunday) he is taking on the Great Birmingham Run.
Mark (38), a structural engineer from Glascote, Tamworth, had always enjoyed the challenge of running and had completed the half marathon in Birmingham in 1 hr 49 not long before his accident.
He was on his lunch break two years ago when a car climbed the pavement and crushed him against a wall.
"I was pinned up against the wall, my legs crushed by the car's bumper. I remember looking down the street, thinking, 'Is this my last view of the world?'
Doctors weren't sure they could save his foot, but after four operations and four weeks in hospital he was making good progress.
"I did sit-ups in bed to keep fit. My family couldn't visit me because of the infection risk so I was desperate to get home to them."
When he came home to his wife Clare and children Amy (9) and James (4), Mark was using a wheelchair and crutches to get about.
Gradually he built up his strength by physiotherapy and sheer determination to walking, jogging and finally running.
Mark is running to raise money for the Fisher House charity, which he had found out about through his job.
The unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham provides a home away from home for injured servicemen and women. It will be officially opened next year by a member of the royal family.
Mark's own experiences give him an insight into what the soldiers go through during their convalescence.
"It was always natural to me to run, I always wanted to be fit and to beat the time. Now I know I won't be able to beat the time I did before but if I get a time of 2 hours 10 or 15 minutes I'll be satisfied," said Mark.
"My family think I'm a bit crazy, but very brave and they are coming to see me run.
"Every time I run I'm in pain, but I won't let the pain beat me."
To donate to Mark's charity visit www.justgiving.co.uk/teams/cceng