London Marathon 2022: Covid nurse hopes to set record for 'fastest marathon as a pint' in hospice fundraiser
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Joan Pons Laplana, aged 47, worked on an intensive care ward during the worst of the pandemic, which led to him receiving a diagnosis for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Joan, who started counselling in 2020 after experiencing panic attacks, said: “At the beginning of January 2021, people said we need you in intensive care but they didn’t want to put me there because of my anxiety, but I said I would be fine.
“I was wrong. I had a breakdown and a panic attack in February and I ended up going back to my previous job but I wasn’t sleeping right.”
Joan would wake up experiencing nightmares and says he didn’t complete a full eight hours sleep for 12 months.
As part of his counselling, Joan was told to try running, due to the benefits exercise can have on mental health, and he gave it a go.
He said: “Most people start with the couch to 5k programme, but not me! I decided to do couch to marathon in eight months.
“During the half an hour I would run, I could release all the anger. I could sing or cry. It really helped me.”
Joan is fundraising for Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield and is hoping to raise £5,000 before the London Marathon in October, where he will hopefully set the ‘fastest pint’ record.
He said: “I think I will feel on top of the world. I will be very proud of my journey from nearly falling apart to doing this.
“When I had this breakdown, I felt I was failing as a man and as a nurse but I realised I’m not a superhero, I’m a human being and I had been neglecting my mental health.”
There is no current record for the fastest marathon time as a pint, but in order to meet the minimum standard required by the Guinness World Record team, Joan will need to complete his marathon in less than four hours.
If you would like to support Joan on his fundraising, visit his JustGiving page here.