ULTRA fundraiser Paul Burgum is off to a great start in his backing for a popular charity.
The 34-year-old – who is supporting a charity set up by a Hartlepool businessman – ran 106 miles from Gretna Green to the Thornaby Aerodrome site in 23 hours and 50 minutes.
He is so fit, he completed the last three miles in 27 minutes in his bid to support the Jo and Mya Memorial Fund, set up by his friend, Ian Richardson, whose wife Joanne, 40, and eldest daughter Mya, aged six, died in a car accident three years ago.
Ian said: “He did all that in less than a day and that included a couple of detours because of road closures. He has raised about £1,000 just from that event alone.
“Words can’t begin to describe what he has done for the charity. It is beyond my comprehension. I am a guy who struggles to get into shape for the Great North Run and this is a man who has just done four back-to-back marathons.”
Incredibly the event was a mere warm-up for a bigger challenge to come. Paul is planning to do a 1,000 mile trek covering the length of Italy in 30 days – just a few days after completing this weekend’s Great North Run.
Ian added: “The support that Paul has given the charity has been phenomenal.”
Paul, a former Hartlepool College of Further Education student who works in Billingham, plans to trek across Italy with only a backpack and no money.
He said he would be “relying on human kindness to help me along the way.”
Billingham-born Paul is both a youth worker for BCT Aspire in the town, which provides motivation and youth work for young people, and a self-employed joiner.
Anyone interested in supporting Paul should visit his Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/BCT-ASPIRE.
Dozens of runners will be backing the fund in this Sunday’s 13-mile Great North Run.
But that’s not the only event being held for the worthy cause.
A “yomp” to the summit of Roseberry Topping is planned on a date yet to be fixed. The event for all the family has become an annual attraction for fund supporters.
Ian, also from Billingham, says even more fundraising is going on for the cause.
For more details visit either the fund’s website at www.joandmya.co.uk or the fund’s Facebook page.