A man runs up a hill in a rural locationThe summer of sport continues to thrill with the Rio 2016 Olympics in full swing. It’s enough to inspire even the idlest among us to reach for our trainers and get moving. Here one runner shares his incredible story: 109 marathons, inspiring other runners – and what a difference some first aid skills can make.

Since losing 14 stone, Aaron Howlett has run over 100 marathons. Now he helps others train for their first marathon.

But while out running one day, he faced a different sort of challenge after coming across a woman having a seizure.

Thankfully he knew exactly what to do. Would you?

Picture of Aaron Howlett who helped a woman having a seizure while out running one day
Aaron’s story: my car park rescue

Aaron Howlett has come a long way to become the fit and active person he is today.

Since losing 14 stone he has run more than 100 marathons. Now he helps others train for their first marathon.

“I do it just for them, to see the boost to their self-esteem and to see them get fitter and happier,” Aaron said.

But while out running one day with a client, he faced a different sort of challenge.

The pair had been on a long training run from Hull to Beverly. Aaron changed their route in order to stop at a supermarket and pick up a drink – it was a hot day.

When they got there, Aaron saw a woman in the car park in distress. As he got closer he saw another woman on the ground.

At first he thought there had been a car accident but soon realised this wasn’t the case.

“What’s happened?” Aaron asked as he approached the scene.

The older woman explained that it was her 25-year-old daughter on the ground. She was having a seizure.

The mother was shocked and hadn’t called an ambulance. Aaron did this for her right away.

“I knew that the thing to do was to ensure the safety of the daughter, making sure she was protected from further injury,” Aaron said.

He used his jacket to protect her head during the seizure and when it was finished, rolled her onto her side, tilting her head back.

“I then covered her with my jacket – it was a bit sweaty from the run but at least she was warm,” he added.

While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, Aaron comforted both women while his running partner kept the crowds and cars away.

Soon the ambulance arrived and the paramedics praised the running pair for their actions.

“I’m proud of what we did that day –it made a big difference to that mum and her daughter,” Aaron said.

Up Your Game

Being active is great for body and mind and nothing should stand in the way of you pursuing your much-loved sporting activity.

But our new research found that although almost 90 per cent of sportspeople agree they have a responsibility to look after each other in a first aid emergency, around half of them don’t feel confident enough to help.

Bumps, knocks and falls go hand-in-hand with sporting activities – no matter what level you are at.

That’s why we have launched Up Your Game a new campaign to encourage all you sporty people alike to learn first aid.

Aaron used his first aid skills on a stranger, not a fellow runner – but he knows it easily could have been one of his clients. That’s why he decided to up his game.

“Since the incident I’ve downloaded the Red Cross First Aid app onto my phone and take it with me on all my runs.

“Two of my runners are going to book onto a Red Cross first aid course, too,” Aaron said.

The good news is first aid is easy to learn and simple to do. Find out how you can Up Your Game.


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Photo credit: iStock.com