And despite his major health setbacks the runner’s motto is “a diagnosis didn’t finish the run.”
Mr Williams has returned from captaining the “Global Heroes Team” for the 10th anniversary of program after captaining it last year.
He was first selected in 2013 by the US-based medical company, Medtronic, to compete in the TC10 Mile Championships in Minneapolis/St Paul, USA running with 25 other international runners supported by implanted medical devices.
In 2010 he was at the peak of health and fitness, then a random check up with his GP revealed a life threatening cardiac condition. He said he’d experienced no symptoms of atrial fibrillation and he was shocked and doctors baffled.
“It’s debilitating for most people and they struggle physically and emotionally with it,” said the runner who’s been competing since he was 17.
Mr Williams said his treatment wasn’t working so a new cardiologist stopped treatment with the experimental drugs and suggested a cardiac pacemaker.
His recovery was phenomenal. Within days, he said, he was back teaching and within a month had competed in his first NSW Cross Country Championships.
Mr Williams also competed in the 2014 and 2015 “Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers in New York City finishing 21st (2014) and 23rd (2015) overall and first place in his age group (the race traces the footsteps of a Brooklyn fire fighter who lost his life on 9/11).
As a role model for the boys he said his condition has been an interesting journey and he hoped he showed the students how to look at the positive side of life.