A businessman and ultra-runner is limbering up for an incredible athletics challenge across southern Scotland to help Wigan Youth Zone.
Gareth Boyd will tackle a 214-mile race along the entire length of the Southern Upland Way to raise money for the Parson’s Walk facility.
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Gareth, who is from Cheshire, decided to use his incredible running prowess for the organisation after visiting for business breakfasts and meeting clients in the borough in his work for Adele Carr Financial Recruitment.
He will have 100 hours to complete the arduous course and hopes his efforts will bring in at least £1,000 for the boys and girls’ club.
Gareth, 46, said: “Wigan is an area I know well and I have been to the youth zone for business events and met those with the passion behind the charity.
“At one of the business breakfasts they asked if anyone could run a 10k. I said I could but got my dates wrong so I told them I had a big race in 2018 and I would do that for them.
“I’ve also been able to go to a couple of its charity events. The facilities at the youth zone are fantastic and so is the warm welcome you receive.
“Its links with the business community in terms of getting youngsters involved is really inspirational.
“People are always doing amazing things for charity. This is a challenge and I thought if I could do something to help with the youth zone’s fund-raising and maybe inspire some of the younger generation too that would be great.”
Gareth completed a 200-mile race along the TransPennine Trail from Southport to Hornsea in 2016, finishing sixth out of the 11 hardy runners who got to the end, and admits the Scottish event marks another enormous challenge.
He said: “It runs from Portpatrick to Cockburnspath. We’ll be going west to east, towards Edinburgh.
“There’s about 8,000 metres of ascent and a number of checkpoints dotted along the way. You are running through the night and if you decide to stop the clock doesn’t.
“The plan is to complete the race and hopefully try to enjoy the views. I’ve been up on two occasions and done about 70 miles of the trail and the scenery is absolutely stunning.
“I’ll also get to meet fellow runners. The camaraderie on these events is always great.”
Gareth has had a passion for running from an early age but got back into it when his wife did the Race for Life.
Getting his trainers back on quickly developed serious results, as he did his first marathon in 2008 and following a few attempts at the 26.2-mile distance began to look for greater challenges in the form of ultra-running events.
Gareth is taking part in The Race Across Scotland 2018 run by GB ltras between August 18 and 22 for Wigan Youth Zone.
Sponsor him by searching for Gareth Boyd here