‘I want people to get off their backsides’: Bolton fundraiser to run 250 miles in a week

A jogger is set to run 250 miles across the country, and complete the London Marathon, to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Richard Smith, 31, hopes to beat his fundraising target of £5000 for the charity he says is close to his heart.

His epic run will begin on April 18 in Chorley and finish seven days later with the famous London event – a challenge he says will be ‘more like a cool-down’ after already running 202 miles.

Richard’s passion for fitness began at 23 when he joined the Royal Marines, and he has since taken part in competitions such as the Chester Marathon, Tough Guy and Ironman UK.

Richard told MM: “I always push myself and I haven’t reached the point where enough is enough yet.

“I was intending to fundraise for The Royal British Legion anyway and I knew I’d have to do something big and crazy so that people would donate.

“People that know me quite well have said, ‘that sounds like the kind of stupid thing you’d do,’ and others have said, ‘why on earth would you want to do something like that?!’

Even my boss said to me this morning, ‘is it not pushing it a bit that, Richard?’

“But I just see it as a big adventure.”

Richard added that he is particularly excited for the final stretch of his journey.

“I’ve never done the London Marathon but I’ve watched it loads and I always get goosebumps,” he said.

“It’s the most prestigious race in the world and it’s hard to get the opportunity to do it. I’ll be nervous but once I get going I’ll be loving it.”

Fundraising is not the only reason Richard wants to complete the run, however.

He also leads a running club for beginners and he wants to use this challenge as a way to encourage other people to get active.

“Some of my running group members say to me, ‘I hate running, I’m no good or I want to get fit before I go running’,” he said.

“No you don’t – you do it to get fit. I want people to get off their backsides and if something like this encourages them then it’s worthwhile.

“When I’ve run long distances before I’ve kept my sugar levels up by consuming high energy bars and drinks etc, and after a while all you want is a sandwich.

“When I did Ironman in 2014 I put some meat and potato pasties in my bag and I was so happy at the end.

“Sometimes when you’re training or doing the races all you want is a nice cold beer when it’s over but to be honest once you’ve finished all you want is a lie-down and a good sleep!

“But I’ll need to start training for Ironman UK then.”

Charles Byrne, director of fundraising at The Royal British Legion, said: “We are delighted that Richard is taking on this mammoth challenge for the Legion.

“The fundraising he will undertake on behalf of the charity will make a real difference to the lives of those we support within the Armed Forces community, such as helping elderly veterans to live more independently in their own homes and offering holidays to Forces families at our seaside break centres.”

To donate, or if you are interested in joining Richard on his journey click here.

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