"Although it was tough it was one of the best things Ive ever done."
Ben Hunt, marathon runner and hospice supporter
Marathon runners of all ages pushed themselves to the limit and covered hundreds of miles to raise funds for Francis House Children's Hospice.
The six men from Greater Manchester pounded the streets in a series of racing challenges.
On April 28, three hospice supporters Ben Hunt, John Musgrave and Ken Mellis headed south to participate in the world-famous Virgin London Marathon. Each committed to raising £2,500 to support the work of the hospice and help towards the £12,870 a day running costs.
Didsbury resident Ben said: “It was very hard but so worth it! It was a pleasure to represent Francis House and to raise money for such a fantastic charity. Although it was tough it was one of the best things I’ve ever done, I would highly recommend others to have a go and to get involved.”
Ken Mellis, head of property at Total Fitness, held a lifelong ambition to compete in the marathon and was motivated to run for Francis House to help the families cared for by the hospice.
“I am really pleased to say I got a time of 3 hrs 57 mins 58 seconds which I am over the moon about. More importantly, it looks like I will have raised approximately £3,000 once all my money is due,” he said.
At 71, Geoff Clarke from Stalybridge, competed in his first ever half marathon on the motoring racing circuit at Oulton Park.
Not only did the Co-op Academy Governor finish first in the over 70s category, but his accomplishment is even more remarkable as Geoff is totally blind.
On a wet day in March, Geoff and running partners Janet and Lee Grint completed the challenge.
“I thought that Francis House would be a good cause to raise money for. They do a lot of very good work. I can’t think of anything better than to help the children,” said Geoff.
Geoff collected £1,570 in sponsorship.
Stephen Bradley, 61, headed to Spain to tackle the Barcelona Marathon. Finishing in an impressive time of 3 hrs 44 mins and 35 seconds, seasoned runner Stephen brought home £1,417 in sponsorship donated by family and friends.
In April, Wayne Thornhill, a sheet metal processing product manager, raced with 20,000 other competitors in the ASICS Manchester Marathon event.
Motivated Wayne even kept up his training whilst working abroad in Poland and his Irlam, Manchester based employers Metalube sponsored him £250 to take part. Wayne headed home in 4 hrs and 47 minutes.
The hospice is offering discounted charity places of £20 for the 10k race at the Great Manchester Run on Sunday, May 19. To register visit https://www.francishouse.org.uk/get-involved/events/great-manchester-run/