A LONG distance runner is celebrating a gold medal triumph in the British Transplant Games.
Jonathan Bowman, who works for a Morley accountancy firm, took part in the annual event, which this year took place in Medway, Kent, and won medals in two of the long-distance events – winning gold and silver in the 3K and 15K races respectively.
Although Jonathan is no stranger to success in the competition – he has medalled in the games before – he said that he had still been training hard for this year’s games, and was pleased that he had got just rewards for his efforts.
He said: “I have been doing the running for a long time, and I also do a lot of cycling as well. Mainly, the sports I take part in are quite a long-distance and require a lot of stamina – so I had been keeping up with my training this year.
“It is quite a large event – and it is remarkable the effort that goes into putting the games on. More than 1,000 people took part this year.
“I think the games show how grateful people who have had transplants are to the donors, and there are people competing in these games from seven to 70 – people from all kinds of backgrounds take part, and it is all for a good cause.”
Jonathan, from Cleckheaton, first featured in the local press 11 years ago when his mother, Stephanie, donated one of her kidneys to him.
He has since gone on to become a top long-distance athlete, competing at national level in the transplant games since 2005, and Stephanie was proud to attend the games to cheer on her son.
The British Transplant Games have been running since 1978, and have grown in popularity year on year, receiving their biggest ever number of entrants in 2012.
Jonathan, 26, is a trainee accountant at Cromack’s in Morley, but still plans to take part in athletic events in the future.
“I have been concentrating on my long-distance running lately, but I want to take part in other events like the 1,500m and swimming in next year’s games,” he said. For more information visit www.transplantsport.org.uk.