Watch Andy Brown, 47 from Southport, as he completes his challenge to run 5k every day of the year – in support of Bertie Kay, his young friend who was diagnosed with a rare muscular dystrophy condition in 2014.
He started the run on Nov 18 2018 – the anniversary of Bertie’s official diagnosis for muscular dystrophy. Now he’s inviting people to join him on his final furlong as he completes his fantastic challenge in Hesketh Park on Sunday 17 November.
He works at the Environment Agency and he has run every day, sometimes before dawn, early morning, lunchtime, tea time, evening and some days when he could have been sleeping!
“If I’m honest I don’t really know how I have fitted it in. But by getting into a rhythm and ritual every day and with a very understanding family and a large dose of my natural stubbornness I have managed it.
I have run in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Lee on Solent, Forest of Dean, York, Wales, Somerset, Preston, Warwick and what feels like every road in Southport!
In terms of distance I expect to be about 2360 kilometres or 1460 miles by the end of the final run. This is the equivalent of running to Marrakech in Morocco or 55 marathons! Doing this challenge has been a rollercoaster.
Sometimes it’s felt great; sometimes it’s been hard after long days. Many times it’s painful. But whenever it felt hard I always thought of what Bertie and his family have to live with, and what felt hard was nothing in comparison.”
Bertie, now eight years old, has Collagen V1 myopathy (Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy) and Andy is a key member of his support community – Bertie’s Buccaneers. Bertie’s mum Dr Kay said:
When your child is diagnosed with a rare progressive illness like muscular dystrophy, time is not on your side. Andy has really grasped the urgency of funding a scientific breakthrough.
Despite having a busy working and family life of his own, he has been out there running in the rain and wind, standing by his word to complete this RED challenge.
It has meant so much to Bertie, and to us, that someone was willing to do that for him. Thank you Andy
His condition is a rare, progressive muscle-wasting one which attacks his strength and mobility and also his ability to breathe. There is hope that current research is seeing us on the cusp of a cure – but as yet there is none.
Charles Horton, Regional Development Manager for MDUK in the North West said,
Andy has shown such determination in running at least 5km every day for a year in all kinds of weather and on all types of surface. I know from Bertie’s parents that they are amazed at how well Andy has done and thankful for his great support.
It is Andy’s resilience to keep on going and to make a real difference to the lives of people affected by muscle wasting conditions that must be applauded and I hope he enjoys a good long rest when he completes his year of running.”
Andy has raised £1,655.50. There is still time to help him fulfil his fundraising target of £3,000 – Donate here.