A MAN has raised more than £2,000 for charity by running every day - a total of almost 2,000 miles since the start of the first UK lockdown.

Paul Stalley, of Chickerell, has dedicated the last year to running at least one mile every single day for 12 months to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Paul, 45, typically averages a total of 30 miles a week and is just short of running 2,000 miles throughout the whole year - a challenge he said was made easier when joined by his canine companion, Bonzo the cockapoo.

Paul first set out to raise £500 with his runs, but has managed to pull in more than four times the original target, with his online fundraising page currently at £2,245.

Paul, an internal sales manager at Tecan, ended his year of running in March with a solo marathon and explained why Cancer Research UK is a charity so close to his heart.

He said: “One in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime - we all know someone close to us who has been affected. As a result of cancer, I have lost my father, grandmother, aunt, and have friends and relatives who are still fighting this terrible disease now.”

As the first lockdown started, Paul decided to try to inject a bit of routine and normality into his life by running every day for a few weeks.

This coincided with him taking on a dog-share with an elderly friend who was shielding due to underlying conditions and was also undergoing various hospital appointments at the time, making it difficult for her to keep up with the daily exercise needs of her dog, Bonzo.

Paul said: "Bonzo was a good excuse and motivator for me to stick to this. Most of my running has been just with her, and when various lockdown stages have allowed, I have also run as many longer distances as possible with two good friends - one with his own four dogs.

“As the weeks went on, I decided to keep the streak going, and to have a go at making the full year and decided that if I was doing something that silly it ought to be for a good cause!

“At first I set a £500 target and expected to struggle to get there, but was very quickly blown away by the generosity and kindness of family, friends and colleagues who have helped me extend this to £2,000 - then smash that target!

“I’ve also been very lucky to have the support & patience of a very understanding wife & children, who have put up with this disruptive obsession! She has been in and out of hospital this year (non-Covid related), which has presented some extra challenges for running, sometimes getting the miles in up and down our road with the kids, rather than exploring the Dorset countryside."

People can still donate to Paul at fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/pauls-giving-page-2287


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