Running duo hit Bolton road for charity as they stride for £35,000 with help from Olympic heroes

Two avid runners will be aiming to cover 435 miles in a week for charity when they start a mega-marathon run in Bolton – and will be joined by Olympic athletes along the way.

Jeff Weigh and Joe Williams founder of UK Run Chat, an online running community, will be running five 10k runs, each in a different location, every day for seven days to try and raise £35,000.

And the duo are set to be joined by Olympic judo star Sophie Cox, record holding sprinter Montell Douglas and Paralympic swimmer David Hill along their travels.

The duo’s motivation comes from Joe’s son who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy, and Jeff wanting to ‘do something that was a little different and got people involved’.

Speaking to MM, Jeff said:  “The opportunity to run with different people is one of the things that we are looking forward to the most.”

Benefactors of the challenge will be Epilepsy Research UK and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, which are both charities close to the pair’s hearts.

The challenge will also be a virtual run, which is a run that can be done at any location, by anyone with only photographic proof needed to win a medal.

“The great thing about a virtual run is that it doesn’t matter where you come it’s the taking part that counts,” added 38-year-old Jeff.

“Without the community it’s just an idea that Joe and I had.

“Joe and I work together as learning and development professionals so we have a good understanding and share similar value in terms of family and wanting to do things for the greater good.

“There have been a number of times I’ve said to Joe, why are we doing this? Remind me! He said ‘look we’ll have some fun’ and I have gone along with it.”

The challenge will be unique as some routes, all of which have been submitted by members of local communities, will only have 45-60 minutes between locations to recover.

Jeff from Ellesmere Port and Joe from Stoke will also consume between six and seven thousand calories per day.

Team GB Olympic judo star Cox will be joining them on day one and starting the 10k route.

The Rochdale born judoka speaking to MM said: “As athletes after we’ve finished or even if we still compete, we want to give back to charity.”

Having got to know Dame Kelly at the Athens Olympics in 2004 she said: “It was great to work with someone of that calibre and enthusiasm to give back to young people.”

Commenting on the community involvement central to the fundraiser, Cox added: “It’s the way it’s got to go now; people are looking for new ideas and ways to get people involved.”

Cox along with Douglas and Hill all work as mentors for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, which operates nationwide and runs the ‘Get On Track’ programme in the North West.

This sees disadvantaged young people receive mentoring and support from world class athletes.

Swapping mats for tarmac, Cox added: “Judo is a shorter sharper pain, but running 10K is definitely out of my comfort zone but the ‘higher purpose’ will drive me on.”

The opportunity to run with international athletes and Olympians, Jeff described as ‘the icing on the cake’ for two men who ‘position ourselves as two ordinary guys’.

The men will start their run on September 6 in Leverhulme Park, Bolton at 11.30am. All the routes have been submitted by members of local communities.

For more information on how to join them or donate to show your support, visit

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