Every year many people push themselves to the limit by taking on 10k runs, half-marathons, marathon and even ultra-marathons. Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity has discovered a fundraiser who has taken on not one, not two, but the equivalent of 24 marathons in a row. The surprise twist in the story is that this man isn’t an Olympic athlete but a granddad called Jack, who is about to celebrate his 70th birthday.
Armed with two secret weapons: retirement and a wife called Pat, Jack is determined to make it around the whole of the South West Coast Path National Trail. It’s a route which will take him from Minehead to Poole via Lands End and will require running, jogging and some occasional crawling up hills.
In the middle of his challenge we caught up with Jack to find out why he decided to embark on this momentous 630-mile journey: “It represents the total distance of the south west coast path through Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. It’s the longest National Trail in the UK and incorporates some of the most stunning coastal scenery to be had anywhere on the planet. All that is needed to enjoy the delights of the path is good clothing, good will and good health.”
One of the aims of Jack’s challenge is to fundraise for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity: “I decided to select the charity simply on the grounds that I have been very fortunate with my health at age 70, whereas there are so many children who would just love to participate in normal life’s activities but who cannot do so without the help of Great Ormond Street Hospital.”
Jack has been preparing himself for the run since November last year, taking on gradually more difficult runs – from 3 miles, up to 15 miles and finally by running 3 half marathons and 3 full marathons a week. The only challenge he struggled to prepare for was the many steps on the coastal route. He finally chose to practice on staircases at a multi-storey car park, despite the awful view!
Now 18 days into his mammoth coastal tour, Jack (and Pat) is keeping an entertaining blog of his travels called Jack’s Dash, recounting the ups and downs along the way. If you wish to sponsor Jack you can also visit his JustGiving page.
Whatever idea or challenge you wish to take on for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, have a look at our fundraising ideas pages for more information or give our fundraising team a call.