A DISABLED athlete who stormed to victory in the inaugural Invictus Games and was featured on a hit BBC programme will be running in the Santa Dash in Littlehampton on Sunday (November 23).
Retired RAF regiment gunner Mike Goody, formerly of White Horses Way, will be part of an army of hundreds of Kris Kringles running, jogging and walking through the town this weekend to raise money for St Barnabas House hospice.
The 29-year-old, now of Felpham, was blown up while serving in Afghanistan in 2008, causing serious damage to his lower left leg – which was amputated as a result, in 2011.
Speaking about joining the fun run – which is expected to attract more than 700 people to the town’s seaside promenade – Mike said: “St Barnabas is an amazing charity.
“I’m looking forward to taking part. It’s where I used to train when I was younger, even before joining the military. So for me it’s just really nice.”
Mike, who works with the ambulance service, is getting ready to pick up his training in preparation for the Paralympic team trials for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, having captained the men’s swimming team at September’s Invictus Games, an international competition for wounded and injured servicemen and women.
Mike added he was hoping to find a way to decorate his prosthetic limb to match the festive fun.
“I might have to be a Santa in shorts but I will certainly try and do something,” he joked.
Mike decided to sign up for the Santa Dash as a light-hearted way to get back into his training regime.
Event organiser Lucy Bone said she was ‘delighted’ Mike was joining the festive fun and felt his story was ‘really inspirational’.
Littlehampton mayor Jill Long, who will be launching the event, said she was excited to be a part of it all.
She said: “I just think it’s a wonderful event to have back in the town.
“I just hope seeing hundreds of Santas running through Littlehampton won’t confuse too many of the town’s younger children!”
The 3k route begins from Banjo Road at 11am, with places still up for grabs.
It’s £15 for adults and £7 for children, with under-fours going for free. A family ticket is £38. All Santas over 16 will receive a full Santa suit to wear on the day, and under 16s will get a Santa hat.
To join, call 01903 706354 or log on to the website here for further details.