An award-winning businessman from Bourne is going for gold in a different arena altogether when he runs for Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Poland.
Karl Hick, chief executive officer of developers Larkfleet Group, is competing in the 3,000 metres on Monday just a year on from taking up the sport again after his best friend tragically died of a heart attack in Portugal.
Mr Hick said: “I used to run at a high level when I was younger and earned national honours in the days of (Sebastian) Coe, (Steve) Ovett and (Steve) Cram.
“But I gave up because of injuries and did other sports like golf, tennis and skiing.
“A year ago, my best friend who I used to run with died of a heart attack while in his late 50s.
“It was a real shock and I agreed with his family to run the London Marathon to raise money for charity.
“I carried it on and I’m now running three or four times a week to get the qualifying time for the World Masters Athletics Championships in Lyon, France, in August.”
Mr Hick and his wife Helen set up Larkfleet Group in 2002 with only three staff but have gone on to employ more than 120 people and built homes in Bourne, Baston, Pinchbeck and Thurlby.
The firm has also gone on to win more than 30 industry awards in the last five years, including Midlands Master Entrepreneur of the Year at last year’s Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
“I treat my work a bit like my athletics because I’m a competitive guy,” Mr Hicks said.
“I do things right and I like to win, so I’ve replicated my athletics competitiveness in the business world.”