Dad of three with muscle-wasting condition follows in footsteps of Roger Bannister
Martin Hywood was joined by more than 30 friends and family and as he walked a mile at Oxford’s world-famous Iffley Road track on Sunday, February 7, as part of Move a Mile for Muscles, Muscular Dystrophy UK’s fundraising campaign.
He completed the mile in 36 minutes, a new personal record for the 42-year-old who has limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD).
Completing a mile at Iffley Road was special to Martin for a number of reasons – it was home to the world’s first four-minute mile, set by Roger Bannister, in 1954. Bannister was a neurologist in Oxford, and it was also the city where Martin was diagnosed with LGMD 20 years ago.
Limb girdle muscular dystrophy causes muscles, particularly of the shoulders, hips and thighs, to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasing disability and in some cases, life-threatening health problems.
Martin is among hundreds of people across the country who will be taking part in Move a Mile for Muscles this year. By taking part and moving a fundraising mile, covering a famous mile by powered wheelchair, running a mile for the first time or finding their own unique way to cover the distance, people can help support Muscular Dystrophy UK.
Martin said: “It was the biggest challenge I’ve faced, but what a place to set a new personal record. With the support of everyone who came along, I did it! My wife, daughters and brother were all fantastic, and I was also joined by ten-year-old Tommy Lloyd, who has the same condition as me.
“It’s all go – the next challenge will see me complete a mile around the Oval cricket ground next month, and my 11-mile challenge doesn’t finish until September.
“I want to inspire even more people to get involved in Move a Mile for Muscles - the more people that take part in the campaign, the quicker we can beat muscle-wasting conditions.”
Jo McGuiness, Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Senior Regional Development Manager, said: “Once again Martin has pulled out all the stops to organise a fundraising challenge of epic proportions. Martin has been championing our Move a Mile for Muscles campaign since it started four years ago, and we are so grateful for all his support.
“Anyone can take part - you can travel the distance however you choose, whether it’s running, swimming, walking or covering a mile that is special to you in your powered wheelchair.”
Help Martin reach his £6,000 fundraising target by sponsoring him: https://www.justgiving.com/Martin-Hywood3
To find out more about how people are going to Move a Mile for Muscles, and how you can get involved, visit www.musculardystrophyuk.org/moveamile