Dr Doug's milestone marked by marathon
As the floodwaters subside in the Big Apple, heart doctor Doug Skehan is preparing to mark his 60th birthday by running the New York Marathon.
The race is set to go ahead on Sunday despite the chaos caused by Hurricane Sandy, which devastated a large part of the east coast of the USA on Monday night.
The consultant cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital had been formulating a back-up plan to compete in the Rutland Marathon – on the same day – if he could not fly to America.
But he set off for the States from his home in Quorn at 4am yesterday.
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He said: "I'm a bit dubious about going to a disaster zone but the organisers are positive about it going ahead to keep spirits high in the city – although they may have to change the route."
His wife, Marcelle, 58, will also be taking part in the race.
Dr Skehan said: "It is combination of doing something to mark a milestone birthday, trying to regain a bit of former glory in running and taking the opportunity to something for the department at Glenfield.
"I am hoping to raise more than £20,000 to start a campaign and fund to get a large development in the cardiac department to improve facilities for investigations and treatments for patients with heart and vascular problems.
"However, plans are in a very early stage."
Dr Skehan has run the London Marathon twice.
He said: "The last one was a couple of years ago and I did say 'never again'.
"But when my wife saw the New York Marathon was on my birthday, plans started coming together.
"I would like to get round in under four hours, but it is not just about the time. Marcelle and I both want to enjoy the occasion.
"I have been pounding the streets and parks and have strained a few muscles on the way, but I am still in the game and have covered distances of 20 miles."
He said sponsorship so far stood at £13,000.
Dr Skehan said: "This is thanks to generous patients and members of the public.
"The last time I ran a marathon I raised £20,000 and would like to raise more than that."
To sponsor Dr Skehan, go to: