A MARATHON charity challenge in aid of cancer research is just days away for Mail reporter Richard Mennear.
Richard will be participating in Shine this weekend, a 26.2-mile night-time walk through the streets of Manchester to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
It is the third year in a row that the 27-year-old has taken on the challenge and he aims to raise hundreds of pounds for charity.
Inspired by the Hartlepool Mail’s Race for Fitness campaign, Richard will join thousands of other fundraisers for the trek which starts at Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground.
Richard, who lives in town, said: “After completing the challenge in 2010 and 2011, I was planning on hanging up my walking boots.
“But the Hartlepool Mail’s Race for Fitness campaign inspired me to sign up once again, a decision I have regretted ever since.
“In all seriousness though, Shine is a fantastic event and it is truly inspirational to be walking alongside thousands of other people raising money for such a good cause.
“We all know somebody who has been affected by cancer and events like this help raise vital funds for research.”
The Mail’s Race for Fitness campaign aimed to hear from at least 2,012 people in Hartlepool and east Durham looking to improve their health during this Olympic year.
Manchester Shine 2012 starts at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, and will take in some of Manchester’s most well-known sights including The Lowry, The Imperial War Museum, Media City UK and the Etihad Stadium, home to Manchester City.
The former Brierton Comprehensive School pupil added: “I have been in training and I am fairly confident of finishing in a personal best time of about seven hours.
“Blisters and aching limbs last year almost got the better of me so hopefully it will be better this year.”
Shine Manchester 2012 is being held this Saturday, September 8, with the full marathon starting at 8.30pm.
Alternatively people can also take part in the half marathon, which covers a 13.1-mile course.
Fundraisers pay £30 towards the cost of staging the event and can choose to raise money through sponsorship for either one of 12 prevalent forms of cancer, or to support Cancer Research UK’s wider groundbreaking work against the disease.
Richard will be raising money for research into breast cancer.
• To sponsor Richard visit www.justgiving.com/richardmennear