Mike’s half-marathon effort to help his fellow stroke survivors

Mike Jolly at Ringland church, one of his favourite spots. Photo: Bill Smith Mike Jolly at Ringland church, one of his favourite spots. Photo: Bill Smith

Kim Briscoe kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk
Thursday, August 14, 2014
6:30 AM

A Taverham father-of-two who had a stroke less than a year ago has run a half-marathon in less than two hours and raised nearly £2,000 for charity too.

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Mike Jolly, who had a stroke, running the Great Yarmouth Half-Marathon in aid of the Stroke Association.Mike Jolly, who had a stroke, running the Great Yarmouth Half-Marathon in aid of the Stroke Association.

Mike Jolly was captain of Norwich Rugby Club’s second team, the Norwich Lions, when he unknowingly tore an artery in his neck during a game last October.

A clot headed up to his brain and as a result he had a stroke while driving home afterwards, and was left unable to walk or talk.

But after months of rehabilitation, the 45-year-old has regained his fitness and at the weekend he completed the Great Yarmouth Half-Marathon in one hour and 51 minutes, finishing 105th out of 200 runners.

Mr Jolly, a relationship director for Norwich’s NatWest bank who lives in Maple Drive, said: “About 20 minutes after I finished it absolutely blew a hoolie and lashed it down with rain so I was very lucky.

“I managed it quicker than I thought but it was the first time I had run with other people and I think you get carried along by them a little bit.”

Mr Jolly, who was a scout leader for the 8th Norwich Sea Scouts before his stroke, said he had already identified the Yarmouth event as a goal in his rehabilitation, but it was his wife Denise and teenage children Harry and Anna who first suggested he run for charity.

He said: “I thought I might raise about £300 but it snowballed a bit. I say I have several families, for example scouts and the rugby club and all of those people look out for you and are there for you in your hour of need.

“They rallied around and before I knew it the sponsorship really took off.

“I’m very, very fortunate compared to some of my fellow stroke sufferers. If you don’t have that support network around you it must be terrible and the Stroke Association are very good at trying to provide that support for people.

“People assume stroke affects older people but it can affect anyone from newborn babies through to the elderly.”

To sponsor Mr Jolly, log on to http://bit.ly/1lUt7h1
Do you have a story about an inspirational fundraiser? Contact Kim Briscoe on 01603 772474.

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