Many people started New Year’s Day quietly getting over the celebrations of the night before.
But Paul Suggitt, from Hartlepool, was up bright and early as he embarked on a challenge that will hopefully see him complete 10,000 miles running, walking or cycling, over the next 365 days.
The dad of two began his epic task, called the Walk/Run/Ride Challenge, which will see him have to complete roughly the distance of a marathon a day, at 10am yesterday (Sunday) in driving wind and rain.
Paul, 37, was joined by a small group of supporters as they helped him notch up his first mile by running along Hartlepool seafront.
He is doing it to raise money and awareness for regional charity, the Chris Lucas Trust which raises money for research into an aggressive form of teenager cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma.
Paul, who works as a website and app developer, said: “I thought I need to do something that’s going to get me healthy, that pushes me beyond what I’m used to and at the same time help bring awareness to this trust.
“Not a lot of people know about it year it does an absolutely sterling job for children and teenagers with aggressive cancer.”
Paul, of Deer Park, forwent the New Year celebrations, instead preparing for his mammoth task.
He said: “I spent New Year’s Eve quietly thinking ‘what have I done?’ and about what’s going to come.
“I was up at 3am watching the weather when the rain was lashing against the windows.”
After completing yesterday’s initial run, Paul set off on his bike to Whitby about 50 miles away.
Working around his day job, he plans to travel all over the country throughout the year to help raise the profile of the charity.
People can follow his progress online where he will be posting regular updates.
He added: “The thing that drives me is the community support I have got behind me.”
Lynn Lucas, who founded the Chris Lucas Trust, after the death of her 18-year-old son Christopher in 2000, said: “It’s fantastic what Paul is doing.
“We wish him all the success.”
To follow Paul’s progress go to www.facebook.com/wrrchallenge or to make a donation text WRR17 £5 to 70070.