Dads’ running challenge for trio of charities

Charity fund-raisers Gary Baker and Stuart Phoenix

Charity fund-raisers Gary Baker and Stuart Phoenix

Two dads will push their bodies to the limit as they take on a running challenge to support three good causes.

Gary Baker and Stuart Phoenix have decided to run 103km in a week, made up of three half marathons and four 10ks.

Last year I did a seven-day run of seven 10ks and this year I decided to do something a little bit more adventurous

Gary Baker

They will start the challenge tomorrow and finish next Saturday at a fun day being held at the Springfield Hotel in Springfield.

The pair are running to raise money for three charities close to their hearts - Cancer Research UK, Brain Tumour Research and MS Research.

Gary, 45, said: “Last year I did a seven-day run of seven 10ks and this year I decided to do something a little bit more adventurous.”

The runs could be a challenge for the two Springfield men, who are already suffering after the miles put in during training.

Gary said: “Age has got the best of us. I used to play rugby league and Stuart was a footballer. The injuries aren’t great for us.

“We are not runners, but we like going out for three or four-mile runs. To do that constantly over seven days is bound to take its toll.”

The men are tackling the runs in a bid to raise £2,000, which will be shared between the three charities.

They have all been chosen for special reasons - their mothers both had cancer, Gary’s mother also had a brain tumour and a friend has had five brain tumours, while his sister-in-law has multiple sclerosis.

And they will be thinking of their loved ones as they run each day.

Dad-of-two Gary said: “It’s quite emotional. Over the last few years I have lost a few people to cancer so that will be on my mind. With it being Mothering Sunday, we will be running in memory of my mum Barbara and Stuart’s mum Brenda.”

Gary, who works for Osprey Healthcare in Standish, and firefighter Stuart are raising money through donations and local businesses have each sponsored a day of their challenge.

They will start their final run at 1.30pm next Saturday and finish at the Springfield Hotel to applause from people attending a charity day to boost their fund-raising appeal.

To sponsor the men, go to www.justgiving.com/teams/MarathonMenChallenge.