Completing one marathon is an achievement for most runners but Carl Beresford is preparing to run the equivalent of EIGHT marathons in EIGHT days to say thank you to Manchester’s specialist cancer hospital The Christie for treating his girlfriend.
It marks the beginning of a year of sporting fundraisers by Carl and his challenge is all the greater because he has never run a marathon distance before.
The 29-year-old carpet fitter from Cale Green in Stockport is raising money for The Christie as a way of giving something back after his girlfriend was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Vikki Parr, also 29, an assistant manager at The Railway Nursery in Bramhall near Stockport, has spent the last year being treated at the hospital in Withington and is now on the road to recovery.
“The Christie has helped so many friends and family members that I felt it was time to give something back and say thank you,” says Carl, whose 220-mile (354km) trek to Ravenglass in the Lake District and back starts on Saturday, 4th February, 2017, from his workplace, Firwood Carpets in Denton.
Although Carl has always been keen on sport and plays basketball and football, he was not a regular runner until he began training in earnest six weeks ago. Now he is running 10 miles and cycling up to 50km a day.
Following his marathon challenge, he is planning a Land’s End to John O’Groats charity cycle ride with friends and is also preparing to take part in a number of other sporting challenges including a Rough Runner obstacle event later this year. He completed last year’s Manchester Rough Runner in October and raised £1,200 for The Christie charity.
Carl has set himself a target of raising £7,500 through his challenges this year and is looking forward to setting out on his marathon expedition.
“In my head I’ve already completed it, I just hope my body can keep up!” he says. “My friends keep asking me why I’ve picked such a hilly route but I like a challenge.”
Emma Saunders, fundraising coordinator for The Christie charity, said: “We are delighted that Carl has chosen to raise funds for us with an impressive year of sporting challenges. It’s with support from people like Carl that we can carry on helping to fund life-saving treatment and research here at The Christie, something Carl has witnessed first-hand.”
The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust through its fundraising activities, and delivers projects, equipment and improvements that are over and above what the NHS funds. The charity has more than 43,000 supporters who helped raise £15.9m last year.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked ‘Outstanding’ by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission which referred to it as ‘exceptional’ and ‘a leader in its field’. The CQC commended the Trust not only for its effectiveness and care but also for its work in shaping the future of cancer care, noting the reach and influence of its clinical research projects.
To support Carl visit his JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Carl-Beresford