They call him Robocop at work, but Chris Smith doesn’t mind a bit – and this weekend he’s hoping to run the London Marathon in under five hours.
Chris, of Catterall, picked up the nickname after having a titanium plate fitted into his skull when a complication following the removal of a tumour meant part of his skull had to be taken away.
Fully recovered now, Chris is raising money for the hospital unit which saved his life.
“I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, I promised that I’d raise money for the neuro ward at the Royal Preston Hospital. The doctors and nurses were fabulous and I wouldn’t be here today without them,”
Chris manages to most days fit in 10-mile runs, from his home up to Beacon Fell and around Garstang’s lanes. Other times he can run up to 20 miles.
“I feel as fresh when I finish a 10-mile run as when I start it,” the Lancaster policeman said.
“I’ve been doing up to 20 miles, and I’m hoping the crowd in London will give me that lift to see me through the extra six miles this Sunday.”
Chris has completed the London Marathon twice before, fund-raising for the RNLI at Morecambe, where he is a lifeboatman.
The battle back to fitness has been a tough task, but Chris was determined right from the start, amazing doctors by going for long walks while he was still having radiotherapy.
“I’ll never be able to thank the doctors and nurses enough for saving my life,” said Chris.
“I already have several hundred pounds pledged on my website and from work colleagues, family and friends.
“The money will all go to the hospital for them to use as they think best, on equipment or services to help other people with brain conditions.”
Chris’s wife, Samantha, is also full of praise for the doctors.
“I was distraught when he was diagnosed with the tumour,” she said..
“Luckily I’m a positive person and our family and friends helped us through it.
“The worse time was when I was waiting for him to come round after the operation. I asked him if he knew who I was and he said ‘Pamela’. For a split second I was horrified, then he winked, and I knew that if he could manage a joke at a time like that then he was going to be all right.
“We were told we may not be able to have children because the tumour was near his pituitary gland, but then I found I was pregnant and now we have our son, Freddie. We call him our little miracle.”
To sponsor Chris, go to the fund-raising website www.gofundme.com/29xte8.