Lee Rooke

So, it’s the 10th of June 2018 at around 8am, I’m stood in the kitchen preparing breakfast; suddenly my heart is racing, then it’s not, there’s some discomfort and to a lesser degree, a ‘warm’ feeling across the upper part of my body...hmm?

After a period of contemplation and consideration I decide I probably should go and see someone to find out if there is anything to be concerned about, so I drive over to Hillingdon Hospital A & E and undergo some tests and stuff.

After a while, the Doctor who had been examining, me appears in the reception with a wheelchair and beckons me to climb aboard (maybe there’s something after all?), he takes me into a large room full of beds and patients and tells me to occupy one of the beds...hmm?!

“So Mr Rooke, you’ve had a heart attack!” (A partially blocked Left Anterior Descending Artery to be more precise)

“Oh…” I say

After a number of calls by the Doctor to Harefield Hospital in order to confirm the prognosis, I am wheeled into a waiting ambulance, wired up, strapped in and ‘blue-lighted’ across the borough to be greeted by a team of specialists, physiologists, radiographers (including my wife who was on the night shift), registrars etc.all ready to begin treatment before I had even entered the building!

I am wheeled (again) on to Acorn Ward where I spend the night before undergoing an angioplasty procedure the following morning. After some more tests, checks, information, issuing of medication, a lovely visit from a member of the cardiac rehab team and follow ups plus a 2nd night, I am duly discharged home.

After a short period of weeks I begin my 2 months (Tuesday & Friday each week) of Cardiac Rehab with my fellow ‘hearty’ people all with varying degrees of ailments and conditions.

From the very first phone call between Hillingdon & Harefield, through the ‘welcoming party’, the ward team, the consultants, physiologists, radiographers, porters, catering, pharmacist, rehab team etc. the service I received was nothing less than outstanding, truly wonderful.

So, where does this leave me?

Prior to the unexpected events of June 10th, I was relatively fit, with a good diet and a growing passion for Obstacle Course Racing (OCR); since then, I have had to slowly rebuild on my fitness and have only been able to complete a single Half Tough Mudder and a 6k Commando Series event at Hever Castle however; my aim for 2019 is to take part in more and a greater variety of events than prior to my heart attack - I want to challenge myself physically and mentally in order to support a magnificent cause. My target is to raise as much money as I can for Harefield Hospital which is where I hope, you come in...

If you feel inclined, you can sponsor me by event or for completing a number of events from those I enter. Some of the OCR’s I am considering, will be over a time limit and it will be for me to complete as many miles as I can in the time allocated so, you may want to sponsor me per mile in that case...you can dip in and out and donate based upon the event(s) you think will most greatly challenge my comfort zones, the choice is yours and I hope you will exercise your choice generously.

Some of the events I am looking to take part in include;

January - MacTuff
February - Brutal Run Bordon
March - Winter Nuts Challenge
April - Warrior Adrenaline Race
May - Europe’s Toughest Mudder
June - Fan Dance Dark Trail
July - Tough Mudder Yorkshire
August - Beach Ballistic
September - Tough Mudder North West & London South
October - Rat Race Hell up North
November - Rat Race Hell down South & Commando Series
December - Brutal Run Longmoor

There are likely to be numerous other races of varying distances, throughout the year.

My first event takes place on 6 January in Scotland at Knockhill Racing Circuit (approx 25 miles north of Edinburgh) - MacTuff!

Overall, I’m looking at the possibility of entering 20+ events; if you are unfamiliar with the world of OCR & want a better idea of the sort of things I am proposing to undertake, you can catch videos of most of the above events, on YouTube.

Throughout the year I will provide updates with details of exactly what I will be doing each month so you can check them out.

Now, they are called obstacle course ‘races’ but this is not how I approach them; I would never by any means, call myself a runner nor technically proficient at some of the more, well...technical obstacles, I enter events because I enjoy the challenge. I do not expect to finish in anything resembling a fast time but I do aim to have a go at every obstacle and finish every event.

So, as I’ve said; if you want to support this world-class facility, please sponsor me...it can be for a little or for a little more, for completion of a single event or multiple events or by the mile such as, how many miles I clock up taking part in Europe’s Toughest Mudder.

All money raised will go towards supporting the health and welfare of patients at Harefield Hospital as well as supporting cutting-edge research into heart and lung conditions so please if you can, donate if you want to see a middle aged heart attack survivor, suffer...go on, you know you do!

Thank you,


Lee Rooke