Pals step up training for £40,000 charity challenge

Lee Dodgson (far left) and John Hewitson (far right) with Pools players at their Durham training ground.
Lee Dodgson (far left) and John Hewitson (far right) with Pools players at their Durham training ground.
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Two fit friends are stepping up their training as they prepare to run an average two marathons a day as they aim to raise £40,000 for Hartlepool’s hospice.

Lee Dodgson, from Hartlepool, and John Hewitson – Hartlepool United’s academy manager – aim to complete 827 miles in just 16 days by running from Land’s End to John O’Groats in May.

They are doing it to raise money for Alice House Hospice.

The pair are stepping up their training efforts to prepare for the huge challenge and recently ran from Durham racecourse to Hartlepool United’s Northern Gas and Power Stadium.

It is the next big challenge for Lee, a former firefighter now working as a production technician.

In 2015 he ran seven marathons in a week to raise £20,000 for the hospice.

He said about his latest fundraiser: “There’s not a lot of people who have attempted it and completed it.

“If you want people to give up their cash you need to raise eyebrows.

“Hopefully, we can pull it off.”

John is a regular runner but it is the first time he’s taken on such a challenge.

He said: “I’ve wanted to help him and get involved this time to really promote it and push it as much as possible for Alice House Hospice.

“Its something that’s definitely taken over both our lives. It’s not so much the running its fitting it in your everyday life.”

They’re now racking up an impressive 115 miles a week in readiness.

John added: “This has been a massive learning curve for me because if someone had said a couple of years ago that I would be running even ten miles in a day I would have considered it a massive achievement.

“Now we are covering more than double that multiple times a week as we step up the training and obviously the challenge itself is an average of over 50 miles a day.”

Lee’s father-in-law will watch over the lads as their support driver.

Any donations would be welcome. Just visit the website https://give.everydayhero.com/uk/lejog17