Wigan man runs 10 marathons in 10 days to raise funds for poverty charity
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Jordan Willis, from Leigh, only took up running about 12 months ago before stepping up his training to participate in long distance races at the start of this year ahead of the Manchester Marathon in April.
Following that experience, the 29-year-old found that the removal of a sense of purpose he had gained in preparing for the 26-mile run affected his mental health so he thought he had better take part in some more.
Initially planning on running seven marathons in seven days, Jordan wished to boost the coffers of a charity battling poverty and homelessness – a cause that has always been close to his heart.
In order to push himself, the barber opted to complete 10 marathons in as many days for £10,000 which would help Mustard Tree in Manchester support 10,000 people.
Jordan said: “I wanted the challenge so that I was a little bit doubtful of myself as to whether I would complete it so I added an extra three on, I posted to my Instagram that I was going to do it and then visited the Mustard Tree to look round the centre and see what they do.”
Jordan’s first marathon took place on August 10, as he continued to work morning shifts at Sean The Barber on Oxford Street, St Helens, and would complete the run after work often along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
Due to previous injuries sustained playing sports and damaging his achilles during the Manchester Marathon, Jordan sprained his ankle on day six of the challenge – causing it so swell severely overnight.
Determined to not give up, he instead walked the marathon which took a total of nine hours and with a number of days to go he cancelled his clients to guarantee that he could complete the 10 courses.
Emergency accupuncture halved the swelling and allowed him to run the last couple of days without the pain.
Jordan said: “It’s always something that’s been close to my heart, I’ve never been homeless myself and I would never cry poverty, but my mum struggled a bit to make ends meet.
"We didn’t have everything handed to us on a plate, we never missed meals or anything like that so I would never sat I went without but maybe because I come from that kind of background I do have a soft spot for charities.”
Mustard Tree aims to support the less fortunate by providing an opportunity for everyone to be a connected, valued and contributing member of society.
It enables people to help themselves through practical support, friendship, connections into work, improvements to health and wellbeing plus new experiences to encourage aspiration.
Examples of how donations help the charity include £350 which will help pay for a PC or laptop, which can be used for online training, £500 will allow them to keep their Job Club sessions running, with CV-writing and workshops to assist people with finding work and £1,400 Will help up to 20 people keep their home, through the hardship fund. Jordan has so far raised 93 per cent of his initial target, for a total of £9,390 to help the charity to continue providing for the less fortunate.