Wigan teacher's wacky race through town

Janet Pennington, fundraising manager, Chris Byron, Albert the Bear and Heather Dineley, paediatric sister on Rainbow Ward at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary
Janet Pennington, fundraising manager, Chris Byron, Albert the Bear and Heather Dineley, paediatric sister on Rainbow Ward at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary

A teacher ran through the streets dressed as a banana after being challenged by his pupils to wear the crazy outfit.

Chris Byron, 34, an English teacher at Standish Community High School, ran five kilometres every day throughout January to raise money for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s Three Wishes Charity.

Initially, Chris began running as a personal challenge, believing it to be a fun way to bring in the New Year. But, as staff and pupils at the school had also been fundraising for Three Wishes throughout the year, Chris saw an opportunity to champion the cause himself.

Chris said: “It was hard work, especially on the knees, but I am glad I did it for a good cause.”

Donations started coming in through his JustGiving page and Chris soon hit his initial goal of £100, pledging to complete his final run in fancy dress if he reached a target of £300.

And following his promise, Chris managed to raise more than double times over his original £300 target, with his final totalling £682. This meant Chris had to complete a 5k run through Standish - in a banana costume.

“I let my Year 10 form decided between a batman or banana costume,” said Chris. Chris didn’t complete the run alone and was accompanied by seven other members of staff from the school who ran alongside him for moral support.

The money raised by Chris will go towards the Three Wishes Teen Zone fund which is responsible for creating a bespoke new area for teenagers in Wigan’s Rainbow Ward at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.

And in addition to Chris’ efforts, the school raised an additional £1,577.33 with various fundraising activities throughout the year. Fundraising Manager Janet Pennington said: “I can’t thank Chris enough for his donation towards Three Wishes. This is such a unique way of getting those donations in and will make a massive difference towards our patients.”