Wigan fund-raiser completes 75 miles to support men with their mental health

At the second time of asking, a keen fund-raising runner has completed a massive 200 laps of Wigan’s DW Stadium for charity.
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Aaron Woodward, from Newtown, attempted the same feat in 2020, but an injury to his calf meant that the challenge was cut short.

Despite suffering with ITB syndrome – a condition when the iliotibial (IT) band rubs repeatedly against the lower end of your thigh bone as it joins your knee, Aaron completed the 75-mile grueller in around 14 hours and raised £600 in the process.

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All proceeds will go to Andy’s Man Club, a mental health charity which aims to break down the stigma surrounding men’s mental health by promoting the message It’s Okay To Talk.

Aaron doing the well-known Andy's Man Club pose.Aaron doing the well-known Andy's Man Club pose.
Aaron doing the well-known Andy's Man Club pose.

With 18 men taking their own life every day in the UK, it is the biggest killer of those under the age of 45 and something that Aaron has personal experience with as he dedicated his run to his friend Anthony Rodden who died earlier this year.

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Aaron said: “It is important that we all do our own bit. I think a lot only think about mental health when someone close to us passes away. I think a lot of us start preaching about it and then it kind of gets forgotten about a week later. This is a real pandemic and especially in Wigan as we have one of the highest suicide rates in the country.

"One thing I know is I’m good at running, so putting my body through vigorous torture is my way of making a difference, I’m not a super-freak athlete, I’m just somebody who wants to help other people.”

Aaron has raised over £600 for the mental health charity.Aaron has raised over £600 for the mental health charity.
Aaron has raised over £600 for the mental health charity.
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Aaron was thankful that the weekend was cooler than the previous scorching weeks in June which he believes helped his challenge significantly.

Future fund-raisers will potentially see the 31-year-old cycle 135 miles along the Liverpool and Leeds Canal on a bike tailored for teenage girls including tassels and wearing a pink helmet!

Aaron said: “I thought I’d do something a bit different and a bit more fun which will help it gain more attention by doing it on a teenage girls bike rather than me just constantly running all the time – but I’ve got to check out my knee first!”

Donations can still be made at Aaron’s justgiving page.

If you need someone to talk to, The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. Alternatively you can email [email protected].

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