From ‘catching his breath every 10 minutes’ to running ultramarathons - meet Wiganer Chris Colquitt

He couldn’t go further than 10 minutes without having to stop to catch his breath.

But now, one Wiganer preparing to take on his latest marathon has proven that anyone can succeed.

Before the pandemic, Chris Colquitt hadn’t touched his trainers in years. But, as like thousands across the UK trapped indoors, the 40-year-old decided “there was nothing to do during lockdown except run again.”

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Chris ColquittChris Colquitt
Chris Colquitt
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In early 2020, Chris started jogging up hills and running around his home in Wigan but had to stop running every 10 minutes to catch his breath.

Before too long, though, twenty minute runs at the weekend turned into a routine until he entered his first event: a 67-mile ultramarathon called the Canterbury Trail. After less than a year of intensive training, he took on his first challenge and managed to cross the finish line in pain but victorious.

“I really enjoyed the run, if that’s not too weird to say when you’re knackered and covered in blisters,” Chris said.

Chris runs and raises money for Plan International – a humanitarian organisation which advances children’s rights and equality for girls by making sure they have access to education, health care, clean water and future opportunities – an organisation he says is in line with his personal aims.

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“Some of the biggest social issues can only be tackled through equality, climate change is a big one for me. We need broad solutions like making sure that young girls are given an education and future, increasing the number of scientists across the planet, and giving girls a chance – this is what’s important to me.

“This is the reason I love running for Plan.”

By 2022, Chris had taken on six other challenges for the same charity and is now hoping to raise £2,000 for the cause as he runs the London Marathon for the first time in April.

Chris and his family sponsor a five-year-old girl through Plan. This led to the two families sharing letters and Christmas presents throughout her education.

“It is lovely to be in touch with somebody on the other side of the world,” Chris said. Through Chris’ previous fundraising efforts totalling £2,337 to date, Plan has received enough money to build a school playground in Sri Lanka.

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As well as an ambitious fundraising total, Chris has high hopes for the run itself. He said: “I just think, if you’re going to do the London Marathon, you’ve got to do it properly!

“I completed the Manchester Marathon last year in four hours and six minutes for Plan, and those six minutes kill me.

“I want to get under four hours for the London Marathon. I’ll be happy with 3 hours 59.”

Chris is also passionate about Plan’s work in the UK, on the Crime Not Complement campaign, which would see public sexual harassment criminalised. The aim is to make women and girls feel safer on the streets.

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“As a husband and the father of a daughter, I’m 100 per cent behind this campaign,” Chris added. “Other peoples’ actions shouldn’t affect whether people can train and get fit without fear.”

His advice to others thinking about taking on the challenge for this charity or another cause close to peoples’ hearts is “you can do it”.

“I’ve learned over the past two years that there is nothing stopping you. When you’re running, it hurts, but once it’s finished you feel so much better, and the more you train the better you feel.

“There’s no secret other than putting on your trainers and going for it.”

To support Chris’ fundraiser go here:

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