Runner Chris set for marathon charity bid

Chris Heaton, of Wortley, who's in training to cover 30 marathons in 30 days to raise �30,000 for charity.

Chris Heaton, of Wortley, who's in training to cover 30 marathons in 30 days to raise �30,000 for charity.

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An inspirational Sheffield runner is taking on the challenge of a lifetime by attempting to run an astonishing 30 marathons in 30 consecutive days.

Chris Heaton, aged 54, will run some of the steepest marathon routes in the country in a bid to raise £30,000 in September.

Chris, from Wortley, Sheffield, admits he is starting to feel nervous ahead of what will be by far the biggest, most gruelling physical challenge he has ever faced.

“I’m beginning to get a little bit frightened by it now,” he said.

“I’m confident I can do it but these things are mentally tough in the build-up. Once you start, though, the stress disappears.”

Chris will alternate his runs between two official marathon courses in Windermere and Great Langdale - considered by many to be one of the toughest, most hilly courses in the UK.

And with the prospect of running 786 miles in a month without the support of a physiotherapist, Chris’s wife, Gina, has also expressed some concerns.

“When I told Gina she was totally horrified, but she knew she wasn’t going to stop me,” said Chris, who is chairman of the Sheffield Assay Office.

“My children are in their 20s and think it’s wonderful. There’s definitely a cut-off age of around 35 where people go from thinking it’s great to thinking I’m going to die!”

Chris has even compiled a list of startling facts which reflect the enormity of his challenge.

During the endeavour he will take around one-and-a-half million steps, ascending and descending more than three times the height of Everest from sea level.

Chris also estimates that he will consume 180,000 calories, ‘at least’.

While the charity Brathay, of which Chris is a trustee, is at the forefront of his mind, he admits he is relishing the personal battle.

“There is definitely a personal element to why I’m doing it,” he said.

“Running is just something I can do and a little bit of me wants to know exactly what I can achieve.

“This is the ultimate test and I know there’s a real prospect of pain,” he said.

Log on to www.justgiving.com/run30 to sponsor Chris. Visit www.challenge30.net to follow his progress.