Sunderland Harrier wins at Donor Run

Michael Barker
Michael Barker
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Michael Barker was one of the high profile competitors in the British Transplant Games Donor Run on the Newcastle/Gateshead quayside on Saturday.

The 5k event was open to members of the public as well as organ donors and transplant athletes.

The pain was that bad that I had to be given morphine injections.

The Sunderland Harrier won the event in 17.17 from Jonathan Gilroy (17.36) and over-40 clubmate Steve Gordon (17.53).

The women’s winner was Caroline Winkney in 19.25.

The 34-year-old, whose best for distance stands at 16.13, has overcome his medical problems to continue his love of athletics.

As a teenager he was told his kidney was collapsing after suffering agonizing pain during a race.

“I had won the County Schools’ title and then went on to the English Schools Championships expecting to win an England vest,” he said.

“But I could only finish 63rd, as I had a terrific pain in my side. The doctor told me I had pulled a muscle.

“But the pain was that bad that I had to be given morphine injections.

“They took half my kidney away and then reconstructed it. I was in hospital for two weeks.”

Since then he has enjoyed a successful athletics career in club athletics and he felt it important to support the Transplant Games and winning the race has been an added bonus.

Sunderland Harrier Matthew Knowles put his injury problems behind him to finish third in the Run Northumberland Wallington 10k (36.52) behind Tony Banks (Jersey) who won in 35.24 and Lloyd Harrison (35.47).