MARATHON man Lee Dodgson is looking forward to a well-earned rest after completing an extraordinary fund-raising effort – and smashing his £10,000 target.
Footsore Lee set out to raise the cash in aid of Hartlepool and District Hospice by completing seven marathons in seven days.
Days like these make you proud to be a Hartlepudlian. It is just incredible – the town has got behind me in a big way.Marathon man Lee Dodgson
And yesterday he made it seven in a row, crossing the finishing line at Hartlepool College of Further Education in four hours, four minutes and 17 seconds, despite running with an injury.
Now he is planning to put his feet up with a beer.
“Today was the hardest day,” he said, shortly after completing his final run .
The previous six days had taken their toll, he said. “When I started the day, my knee was injured, so I strapped it up.
“It was sore from the first step to the last, but it was just one of those things.
“The faster I ran, the less it hurt, so I just had to get on with it.”
Lee initially set himself a target of raising £10,000 but is confident he will have brought in at least half as much again by the time all the outstanding money is in from collections and pledges.
He has been overwhelmed by the support he had received from the people of Hartlepool throughout his gruelling fund-raising challenge.
“Days like these make you proud to be a Hartlepudlian,” he said.
“It is just incredible – the town has got behind me in a big way.
“The hospice is an amazing charity and I feel honoured to have been a part of it.
Lee passed his original target several days ago and expects to see the final total exceed his wildest pre-run expectations.
“Ten thousand pounds was my original target, but we broke through that halfway through the week, just through the JustGiving page.”
Lee has been accompanied by fellow runners throughout the week, who have also been collecting money for the hospice in their own right.
“Everyone who has been running with me has been taking donations,” said Lee.
“The on-line amount raised is just short of £12,000, but I know there is over two-and-a-half thousand pounds still to come in. We’re confident that we will raise more than £15,000, which is a fantastic amount of money that will go to a fantastic charity which is going to help and lot of people and make a difference to a lot of people’s lives.
“I am just glad I have had a chance to contribute to that.”
Hospice fundraiser Greg Hildreth said: “We want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the event, including the college and the sponsors.
“Every penny of this will be used to care for our patients and support their families throughout very difficult and distressing times and I would like to emphasise the fact that anyone who has helped Lee in this challenge, is helping to make a real difference to the lives of local people in need of our support.”
Lee’s marathon-a-day challenge has been backed by The Pantry, Acorn Landscapes, United Carlton, Kannect, Peart Fencing, Exwold Technologies and Greig Cavey. Hartlepool College of Education is also backing Lee’s endeavours.
Robson Builders provided refreshments and Anglian Water kept Lee and his team properly hydrated.
Anyone wanting to sponsor Lee, should visit https://www.justgiving.com/Lee-Dodgson1/