A SHIRLEY runner is limbering up ready to take on the London 10k in honour of his late wife’s birthday.
Bhavin Gohil will be taking to the streets of the capital on July 15 in aid of the Stroke Association two-and-a-half years after his wife, Sheetal, died from a stroke.
She had started a fitness regime with her husband seven months before in a bid to lose some extra pounds in hope of starting a family.
However in Octover 2016 she had her first stroke and she was paralised down the left-hand side of her body.
Bhav said: “Sheetal joined weight watchers to lose weight so we could start a family. She hoped that losing some extra pounds would help us get pregnant.
“The next few days were full of anxiety, wondering how this was going to change our lives forever. It didn’t look possible that Sheetal would ever realise her dream of becoming a mother.”
But sadly, a few days after the first stroke had struck, the blood clot caused a second stroke, this one took Sheetal’s life. She passed away peacefuly on November 7 2016.
Bhav added: “I spent the next three months in a dark place, trying to come to terms with the loss of my wife and our dream.”
“But by February, I made the decision that the best thing I could do now to honour the life of my wife was to continue what we began.
“It was the same group that my wife had loved and I knew she would want me to look after myself, get healthy and bring my blood pressure down.”
But losing weight was not enough. Bhavin wanted to do more.
Soon he relalised that he had to combine a good eating plan with a good training plan to help him reach small achievable goals.
In March 2017 the 41-year-old completed the Coventry half marathon and he said he was so proud of himself and knew that Sheetal would be so proud too.
Since then Bhavin has taken part in a further seven races which were a mix 5k and 10k.
He finished the year with the Birmingham half marathon in October, all to raise funds for the Stroke Association.
This year Bhav has already done two 10k races one of which was in Dubai.
He is currently training for his next 10k race in London to honour his wife’s Birthday in May 2018 where he is hoping to raise £1,000 for the Stroke Association.
His Weight Watcher Coach, Andrea Wilkins, said: “In March 2017, in Sheetal’s memory, we helped raise funds for the stroke association by holding a coffee morning – where we raised £168.35.
“It was so successful that to help raise funds for the other races, we decided Bhavin should serve tea and coffee at our weekly Weight Watchers meeting with a suggested donation of £1.
“So far this year we have raised over £300.”