A DAD is hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for charity by running 13 marathons in 2013.
And Gary Thwaites says his gruelling training schedule will see him run the equivalent distance of heading to Moscow, in Russia, and back - a total of more than 3,000 miles.
Gary, from Wingate, wants to make £1,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) by taking on the epic challenge.
The dad-of-two decided on the charity as his wife, Lisa, had lost two uncles to motor neurone disease (MND).
When Gary and Lisa decided to start a family they were worried as five per cent of people with MND have the familial strain, which can be passed on genetically.
Gary, who works as a model maker, said: “All charities do a fantastic job, but since meeting my wife it seemed natural for me to try and raise money and awareness for motor neurone disease (MND). MND is in our family and there is still no cure so I feel it is so important that I do my bit.
“I’m really excited about the year ahead as I love running and I love the actual day of the event so to do so many should be great. April is looking pretty busy so if I can get through that then I should be okay”.
Gary is running every day to keep his body in peak fitness and has added up the miles he will be running over the year to the equivalent of running to Moscow and back.
He will lace up his running shoes for the first event on Sunday, February 17, a trail marathon in Osmotherley.
Then before he catches his breath, he will tackle another 26.2 miles in a Northumberland run in March.
That’s followed by three marathons in April, including the world famous London Marathon, before another eight, including The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon.
MND is a rapidly progressive, fatal disease that can affect any adult at any time. The cause of MND is unknown and there is no cure.
The disease leaves people unable to walk, talk or feed themselves, but the intellect and the senses are usually unaffected.
It affects around 5,000 people in the UK at any one time.
To support Gary in his challenge to help raise awareness and funds for the MNDA, donations can be made at http://www.justgiving.com/garythwaites-13in13