Seven down, 45 to go, and Darren West is making huge strides with his challenge to run 52 half marathons in 52 weeks in his 52nd birthday year.
The Harrogate Harrier has taken up the challenge to raise £5,200 for Clifford-based Martin House Hospice which cares for children with life-limiting illnesses, providing support for their families.
With £850 so far, Darren is trying to boost donations throughout the year.
He said: “I’m into my second month and I feel that my target is going quite well. I have spoken to a lot of businesses and I use my website, so I’m confident the donations will come in.”
Originally from Bradford but a Harrogate resident since 1986, Darren has competed in aid of Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes charities, but Martin House is a cause for which he has a lot of time.
He said: “I decided that I would run for Martin House one year and I raised £300. I felt that this was not enough and I wanted to raise more.
“The children of Martin House live their lives one day at a time and every day is precious. I am lucky enough to be in good health which is why I’m taking on this challenge.
“I can bring a bit of funding to children that don’t have much of a life and give the hospice something that helps.”
By the end of the year, Darren, a graphic designer, will have run 681.2 miles and has already completed half marathons in Central Lancashire, Anglesey, York, Watford, Liversedge, Brighton, and Eton Dornay. But, despite a little niggle in his knee, Darren says he feels comfortable and appreciates the support from his family and fellow Harriers along the way.
“I have had quite a few people from the Harriers running with me at some of the events, and it’s enjoyable to have some company when running.
“Jenny, my wife, has followed me everywhere and our little boy Harry has got to see all the great places that we have never been to.”
Martin House events manager Caroline Hudson said: “We are delighted that Darren has undertaken this mammoth challenge to raise money for Martin House.
“In 2014 we aim to care for 340 seriously ill children and their families.
“Our services are free and, with very little coming from statutory funding, the support of the local community will enable us to do this.
“We wish Darren all the best with his running and will keep our fingers crossed for good weather and no injuries.”
Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/52halfs and Darren tracks his progress at www.52halfs.com.