It was not the monster but the Loch Ness marathon that scared a Whitehaven man earlier this month.

When his father had an unexpected heart attack at the end of last year, Jason Todd, 28, was overwhelmed at the care given by West Cumberland Hospital's coronary unit.

He was so impressed that he decided to raise funds for the unit by running a marathon and chose the Loch Ness event.

"I am pretty fit and I play spot and felt quite confident," he said. "Then, on a bus taking us to the start of the event, I was sitting next to a man who had done 96 marathons and told me the Loch Ness was the hardest!"

He was determined to do it, however, and finished a credible 986th out of the 5,000 who did the marathon.

He admitted it was hard going - a hilly marathon that left him with jelly legs by the end of it.

Now he has had a taste, he says he will be doing more marathons - but perhaps on flatter ground.

Jason said: “Everyone who knows my dad knows he is extremely fit for his age and loves to exercise; the medical professionals told him this saved his life.

"Without this high level of fitness, the heart attack would have been fatal.

“My goal of entering this marathon is to give back to the ward who looked after my dad, the standard of care was remarkable. If this story impacts another family positively by influencing better/healthier life choices and ultimately preventing someone’s loved one from having a heart attack later on in life that’s job done for me.

“My dad has visited Scotland for years and absolutely loves it up there, he also has family and close friends from Scotland, so we decided this location was quite fitting.

"My goal was to raise £1,000 for the Coronary Care Unit and Cardio Rehabilitation Centre at the West Cumberland Hospital."

In fact he has now raised £1,600 and his JustGiving page will remain open until October 30.

Jason, who is a mechanical quality engineer at Shepley Engineering, said his father is doing well now and he hoped he could raise as much as possible for the unit.

Dr Louise Buchanan, Medical Director and Consultant Cardiologist said: “We are so grateful to Jason, not only for raising such a fantastic amount of money for the coronary care unit but also for raising awareness of healthier lifestyle choices in optimising your heart health.”

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