ENDING up in hospital with heat exhaustion would be enough to put most people off marathon running for life — but for former Cupar man Mike Houston, the experience has had quite the opposite effect.
The plucky 31-year-old is shortly to run the Boston Marathon and, in doing so, will round off a remarkable challenge.
By crossing the finishing line in Massachusetts on April 18 he will have completed all five world marathon majors in Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London and New York.
Initially, Mike intended to restrict his marathon running to the 2009 event in London, raising funds for Asthma UK.
However, race day was unusually hot that year and he collapsed with heat exhaustion after 17 miles.
He was unconscious for 15 minutes and had to be given oxygen before being taken to hospital.
Mike said: “Waking up on a pavement on the Isle of Dogs was not quite how I had envisioned the end of my race. I felt like I let a lot of people down.
“So to try to make amends for the support I’d received, I made a decision to try London again and run in four additional marathons.”
Later in 2009, Mike finished the Berlin marathon and in April last year he returned to successfully complete the London event.
Last October, he also made it round the streets of Chicago and one month after that took on New York’s 26.2 mile course where he recorded a personal best time of three hours 27 minutes.
He is due to set off for Boston next Friday, April 15, to take part in the world’s oldest marathon event to raise funds for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) at Rachel House in Kinross.
A former pupil of Bell Baxter High School, Mike comes from a well-known Cupar family and is a highly-respected golfer.
He now lives in Winchester, Hampshire and works as a traffic services assistant at Farnborough Airport.
Mike is paying for all his travel expenses out of his own pocket, and anyone who wishes to donate to his charity can do so at www.justgiving.com/mikehouston2011