The British Polio Fellowship is a charity very close to the heart of Andrew, who works as a graphic designer. “My father-in-law has lived with Polio, and subsequently Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) for most of his life.” Andrew says. “He was admitted to hospital at the age of four with influenza symptoms, but was quickly diagnosed with Polio and spent over a year in hospital, including time in an iron lung, receiving treatment. His full story is fascinating, heart-breaking yet inspirational all in one big hit.”
Andrew’s route will see him traverse the UK from West to East, a distance of 134 miles, across some of the country’s most dramatic – and challenging – landscapes. “It’s been cycled many times, by many people. But we didn’t think that was tough enough,” says Andrew. “By covering the distance on foot, we hope to go the extra mile – metaphorically of course – and therefore raise even more funds for our chosen charities!”
His gargantuan efforts have drawn praise from Ted Hill MBE, the British Polio Fellowship’s CEO. “The effort Andrew is putting in is nothing short of miraculous.” Ted says. “For most people, the idea of running a single marathon would be incredibly daunting, and Andrew will be doing more than four in four days! We’re hugely grateful for his support, and things like this enable us to continue working to improve the lives of people like Andrew’s father-in-law. Andrew has everyone here at the Fellowship’s backing, and we wish him the best of luck for his run!”
Andrew’s interest in running first emerged around three years ago, when a friend’s son was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, and Andrew decided to run a marathon to help raise money. Following this, Andrew rediscovered a twenty year-old love for running, which has manifested itself in a series of further charitable events, with over 2,500 miles covered in the past three years, including four marathons.
This year’s event is his biggest challenge yet however, and Andrew is pleased to be doing it for a charity so close to his heart. “All of my running in 2016 is devoted to raising money to support the British Polio Fellowship. This year, I’m going to run 2,016 miles – in training and in events – which will include marathons and ultra-marathons, building up to this 4 day, 134-mile ultra-marathon in August. I’ve helped raise money for a few charities over the past few years, all very close to my heart, but none are more important to me than this. Let’s just hope the legs hold up!” Andrew concludes.
You can find out more about ‘Run the Country’ at https://runthecountry.net/, and they are also on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RuntheCountry16. To sponsor Andrew, visit the Run the Country website, or visit his Justgiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/2016-for-2016.