Mike’s gruelling challenge for charity that supported him as a schoolboy

Mike Pyman in training for his challenge

A FORMER New Haw schoolboy is taking part in a 75-mile running challenge to raise money for a charity that helped him through childhood trauma.

Mike Pyman will be running five miles every five hours for 75 hours, for the Eikon Charity that first operated at Fullbrook School.

Mike’s problems began when his parents separated when he was 12.

“My life began to fall apart,” he said. “I was missing lessons and I was close to being excluded. I was getting severe panic attacks. Eikon supported me through this difficult time and persuaded my school to have faith in me.”

The following year one of his close friends died from anaphylaxis and when he was 16, Mike found his mother motionless and unable to talk after a large tumour ruptured her bowel.

“She was given months to live. Eikon helped me again and Chris Hickford, the charity’s CEO, was providing food and transport to my family so that I could continue to study,” Mike said.

Mike when he was at Fullbrook School in New Haw

His mother died two weeks before he received his GCSE results.

“Thanks to Eikon I was able to secure good grades. Eikon gave me the mental strength, the techniques and the willpower that it takes to push beyond my limits. I am so grateful for Eikon. Nothing is impossible,” he said.

The 5-5-75 challenge was set up by Luke Jackson, an Australian boxer, based on a slightly easier goal.

Mike understands that only Jackson and a man in Stoke, England, have successfully completed the 5-5-75, which involves several very early starts.

He moved to Bristol to live with his father when his mother died and is now working as a postman in Salisbury.

Mike is a keen boxer, has run several half marathons and is moving into doing triathlons.

“They tend to go together because the endurance you need is similar,” he said.

He lives with his girlfriend Louise, whose seven-year-old daughter raised £1,000 for Eikon by cycling 100 miles.

Mike takes his training on the road

Mike is a trustee of the charity and said: “Eikon supported me as a young person through some very difficult times. Thanks to them, I was able to overcome these challenges.”

Eikon works in several schools across Surrey as well as communities, health and social care and other organisations to give young people counselling, emotional support and mentoring, as well as providing resources to schools and running youth clubs.

Rose Keene, individual giving fundraiser at The Eikon Charity, says: “We are very grateful that Mike is taking on such a fantastic challenge to help us fund our vital support to young people in Surrey.

“It’s going to be a great 75 hours! Money raised from the event will enable us to continue supporting children who need our help more than ever due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.”

Mike will start the challenge on 28 April and hopes to raise at least £750.

* To sponsor him, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mike-pyman-5-5-75

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