Fitness fanatic to run four marathons in 24 hours "as warm-up" for really big charity challenge (From The Northern Echo)
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Stockton fitness fanatic to run four marathons in 24 hours "as warm-up" for really big charity challenge
A BIG-HEARTED fitness fanatic is to run four marathons in 24 hours for a North-East charity – and that’s just a warm-up.
Paul Burgum, 34, of Thornaby, will then walk 1,000 miles in Italy and even get a tattoo for the cause.
He is raising money for the Jo and Mya Memorial Fund which helps bereaved families.
The charity was set up by Ian Richardson after his wife, Joanne, and six-year-old daughter, Mya, were killed in a car crash on the A1 near Newcastle in August, 2010.
Mr Burgum, a builder who also runs BCT Aspire, a not-for-profit organisation to raise the aspirations of sometimes troubled youngsters, and Mr Richardson have become friends in the last few months.
He said: “We met a community awards event and I just thought he was one of the most inspiring people I have met and I wanted him to help raise the aspirations of our young people.
"He’s just such a beacon of positivity. That said, every time I hear what I’ve agreed to, I think, ‘what the heck am I doing?’”
This is the fourth year in a row Mr Burgum has taken on major fitness challenges for good causes and was featured in The Northern Echo in 2011 for walking nearly 500 miles in memory of his uncle, David Crockett, who was murdered in a violent attack in Redcar.
On that occasion he raised money for The Bridges charity in Stockton.
Mr Burgum has suffered from depression and alcohol problems in the past and said serious exercise helps him unwind and releases endorphins, which help him stay positive.
He will start running the equivalent of four marathons on Saturday, August 31 and run all the way to Thornaby within 24 hours. He will then walk 1,000 miles in 30 days from Naples to Monaco starting on Monday, September 23.
In the meantime he will run the 10k Stockton River Rat Race for the charity and the also take part in The Great North Run. On Sunday, September 1 he will get a tattoo at the Teesside Charity Tattoo Convention at Thornaby Aerodrome.
Mr Richardson, of Billingham, who looks after his three-year-old daughter, Ava, who survived the crash as a baby, paid tribute to Mr Burgum. “I’m absolutely amazed, but I still think he’s nuts,” he laughed.
Find out more and how to donate at joandmya.co.uk
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