Five marathons in five days in memory of grandad
A Lancaster man is to run the equivalent of seven marathons in five days in memory of his Bridgend grandfather, as soon as Covid restrictions allow him to cross the border.
Jason Wilkinson (35) from Lancaster and his friend Nathan Gibbons (31) from Manchester will run 190 miles for Leukaemia UK, after Jason’s grandfather Jim Wynne passed away last year from the disease.
The challenge was due to take place in January, but because of the pandemic it had to be postponed. Now, fingers crossed, the border between England and Scotland is due to open on April 26.
Jason said: My grandad passed away on October 26 last year due to a short and painful battle with Leukaemia.
"He was an incredibly happy and positive man, he laughed until his last day.
"If it wasn’t for research and progress into this disease and other blood cancers, he would not have had the time he was given to spend with his children, his grandchildren and his wife.“I will be fundraising through a running challenge; running the 190 mile journey from Burnley, Lancashire to Bridgend near Linlithgow.
"I am running with a very good friend, from April 27 to May 1. The dates for this challenge were changed in anticipation of the change in restrictions in January.
"We were ready to go, we decided this was something we wanted to do at the end of October. We didn’t give ourselves very long to train. So it’s a bit of a silver lining.”
Both Nathan and Jason have done marathons before, but nothing on this scale.
"We have been running at least five times a week, covering 60-80 miles a week,” added Jason.
"It’s the continuous days of running we have had to get used to, and a lot of hills.
"The route is quite hilly. The ascent over a few days is the equivalent of going halfway up Everest. We are still looking forward to it. We are both a bit mad. We didn’t take much convincing to do it.
"My grandad lived in Burnley when he was younger so that’s why we are starting there. I wish he had lived in Blackburn!
"We did a test run in December of 37 miles, which will be about the daily average we will do.”
The duo will be supported by Jason’s auntie and uncle in their campervan.
Jason added: "It’s just us running, my auntie and uncle will be there if we need support. But we might have family members or friends join us at the end coming into Bridgend.
"And my uncle is a photographer, so he will be filming and taking photos.”