Hartlepool firefighter inspired by Captain Tom smashes fundraising target for mental health charity after 19-mile run in full kit

A Hartlepool firefighter smashed his funding target to raise well over £7,000 for mental health after completing a 19-mile run weighed down by his full kit.

Monday, 11th May 2020, 7:00 am

Liam Lewis, 31, ran from the University Hospital of North Tees to Hartlepool’s hospital in just over four hours on Saturday, May 2.

He did it to support Hartlepool charity Miles for Men’s new mental health initiative called Minds for Men.

Key worker Liam set himself a target of £500, but so far has exceeded £7,500.

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Liam Lewis during the 19-mile run for Miles for Men.

He was inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s fantastic fundraising for the NHS and set the course at 19 miles to recognise the Covid-19 emergency.

Despite being a fitness fan, Liam said he underestimated how hard the challenge was going to be while weighed down by his 20kg kit.

Liam, an industrial firefighter, said: “By the end with all the sweat it felt more like 40kg.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, physically and mentally, but we got the job done.

Liam did the run in full kit and was supported along the way by Miles for Men volunteers.

“The support from everyone around me was amazing and people out clapping in their gardens.

“It was well worth it.”

Miles for Men volunteers kept him supplied with water and bananas along the route while maintaining social distancing.

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Liam with NHS worker Andrew Fox at North Tees hospital in Stockton where he started the run.

Explaining his reason for supporting Miles for Men’s new project, Liam of King Oswy, added: “With Covid-19 people are struggling [with mental health].

“Also there has been a number of suicides in the town in recent years.”

Miles or Men founder Micky Day said: “We would like to thank Liam for choosing our charity and our venture Minds for Men.

“He's an amazing gent who went above and beyond that day.

Liam on route to Hartlepool.

“‘Heartlepool’ are lucky to have him on our fire service, the job they do is amazing.”

Micky said Liam has inspired other people to exercise which will boost their mental health adding: “For me it was one the pinnacle moments of Miles for Men, an amazing achievement.

“Credit to his family too, his dad Billy joined him along the journey; fantastic.”

Sponsorship can still be made on Liam’s JustGiving page.

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