A COMMERCIAL airline pilot from Skipton who ruptured his Achilles tendon, has returned to his outdoor activity pastimes after successful surgery.

Richard Mavor, 52, who is married with four children, scaled the Lion’s Head mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, last month before descending by paraglider.

During the year since his surgery he has also been skiing, winter mountaineering, climbed a number of the Munros in Scotland and completed two small triathlons.

He injured his tendon while running the Windsor half marathon in March last year – part of his training for an Ironman challenge. After running 10 miles he developed pain in his right Achilles tendon. Determined to reach the finish line, Richard managed to hobble for the last two miles by walking with his right foot turned out at a 90-degree right-angle. Two days later he suffered a ‘twang’ in the back of his Achilles and leg when his tendon severed.

“I thought I had sprained my ankle. I did not realise I had ruptured my tendon. It was very painful and the pain worsened over the next few days and I was unable to walk,” said Richard, a former RAF pilot who works for British Airways on long haul flights.

He was referred to Professor Nick Harris, consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon at Spire Leeds Hospital with a special interest in foot and ankle disorders.

An MRI examination and Simmonds-Thompson Test revealed the tendon had completely severed with a 4.5cm gap. Professor Harris suggested surgery was the best option and Richard went into Spire for the ‘open repair’ procedure with Professor Harris and his surgical team just three days later on the Easter weekend in 2018.

Surgery took around one hour and Richard was able to go home the same day.

Richard is now in training for his next challenge.

Next month he will compete in an Ironman 70.3 in Staffordshire, which involves a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and a Half Marathon.

Richard said, “I am grateful to Professor Harris for helping to get me back on my feet again.”