Cricket legend to run charity marathon after heart attack
Former Test cricketer and Australian coach, Darren ‘Boof’ Lehmann, is in training for a sporting event of a different kind – and one that might surprise many of his cricket mates.
Lehmann has signed up for MyMarathon an annual fitness and fundraising challenge run by the Heart Foundation.
Over the month of October, Lehmann will run, walk or jog 42.2 kilometres – the distance of a marathon – while also raising funds to help fight heart disease.
This is part of what Lehmann describes as his ‘second innings’ after surviving a heart attack on his 50th birthday in February this year, followed by triple-bypass surgery.
“I woke up at 4.30am with cold sweats. I couldn’t breathe. It felt like someone was standing on my chest. I knew something wasn’t right,” Lehmann recalls.
“I called the hotel doctor and he organised an ambulance. I remember texting my wife, Andrea, to tell her what was going on.”
Angiograms revealed significant blockages in three of Lehmann’s coronary arteries.
Two days later, he had triple-bypass surgery at Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane, where he now lives as coach of the Brisbane Heat cricket team.
By his own admission, Lehmann has not always made the best choices for his health.
“Before my heart attack, I was a smoker and I ate all the wrong foods. I was a good exerciser, but still carrying too much weight,” he said. “What a wake-up call.”
After his operation, he quit smoking, switched to a healthier diet and continues to exercise regularly.
“I didn’t realise how unhealthy I was before. Now I am feeling better, sleeping better, breathing better, food tastes better. And I’m ready to donate my second innings, not just for my own heart health, but for all Australian hearts.”
Lehmann is encouraging all Australians to get involved in MyMarathon and has set a personal fundraising target of $50,000.
If you want to get involved, you will find helpful resources and leaderboards at the MyMarathon web site.
Have you ever suffered a heart attack? What changes did you make to your lifestyle?