First Hull Trains helping heart attack victim Lee Popplwell tackle the Virgin Money London Marathon

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First Hull Trains is giving heart attack victim Lee Popplewell a ride to the start lane of his first marathon.

First Hull Trains is giving heart attack victim Lee Popplewell a ride to the start lane of his first marathon.

He will travel to London and back on-board First Hull Trains to run in the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13.

After hearing Lee’s story, Will Dunnett, managing director at First Hull Trains, offered him free travel to and from the capital.

“Lee is running for a great cause and First Hull Trains is delighted to be able to help him achieve his goal by making his journeys to and from London as comfortable as possible,” he said.

“I wish Lee all the best on the day.”

In 2011, Lee, 38, weighed more than 18st, despite being only 5ft 7in, and vowed to turn his life around.

After losing 4st in his battle to get fit, he suffered a heart attack in October 2012.

Before this, Lee, now a healthcare assistant, had never run competitively but completed his first half-marathon in October, with a time of 1h 49mins, raising £500 for heart charity Heartbeat Of Sport.

Lee said: “I am hugely grateful to First Hull Trains for offering me a ride to and from London. It is going to be a tough challenge but I am looking forward to it.

“It is a bit daunting tackling my first marathon but I have been training hard so let’s just hope it all pays off.

“I am running the London Marathon for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), with the hope of raising £2,300 for the charity.”

To get into shape, Lee took up squash, running, boxing and cycling and, a year later, was under 15st and completing a 10k run every week.

However, despite the hard work, he suffered a heart attack while running through Cottingham from his Hessle home.

A week after the heart attack, he started his journey to recovery with a five-mile walk.

After two weeks, he finished a 12-mile bike ride, within two months he was running 5k and three months after being admitted to hospital, he was back up to 10k runs.

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Notes to Editors:

  • First Hull Trains was formed in the autumn of 2000
  • First Hull Trains’ services stop at Brough, Howden, Selby, Doncaster, Retford,

Grantham and Stevenage

  • First Hull Trains operates 90 services a week between Hull and London King’s Cross
  • First Hull Trains’ fastest journey time between Hull and London is two hours and 34 minutes
  • Last year, First Hull Trains carried 815,400 passengers

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Jennifer Handley
First Hull Trains
+44 7733126977 Ext: 44
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