Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 07:48 am
Martyn Cassidy, a 49-year-old quantity surveyor from Sale in Greater Manchester, is marking his milestone age with a year-long challenge to run fifty races – of distances between 5k and Half Marathon – in the twelve months leading up to his 50th birthday.
Having been a runner for over 18 years, but only tackling the occasional event, Martyn wanted to set himself a challenge as a way to improve his fitness and break the cycle of going from one event to slobbing off for the rest of the year.
Whilst searching for a suitable cause to support, Martyn’s eldest daughter, Rebecca, a student at Ashton on Mersey High School, told him about Francis House Children’s Hospice, a charity that has been in existence since 1990 and supports the families of children and young people with life-limiting conditions.
Martyn began his challenge the day after his 49th birthday, June 29th, and has now completed his 15th race – the half marathon at Capesthorne Hall over the weekend.
He has been joined by his wife Sara on a number of runs, along with other family members and friends, and has already set two personal bests.
Martyn said: “I want to see what I’m capable of if I push myself just a little bit more. The results already have been noticeable. After just a few weeks I’m feeling fitter and healthier, and the races give me something exciting to look forward to each weekend.”
He has already smashed his target of £500, with more than £900 in donations, and the medal rack gifted to him for his 49th birthday is now straining from the weight of all the shiny objects.
Julie Williams, fundraising officer of Francis House, said: “It’s thanks to people like Martyn that we can continue to give families a break from their role as carers, and the children and young people some independence and fun experiences – whether it’s in their own home or at the hospice. We wish him luck with the challenge and future races.”
Martyn Cassidy is set to complete fifty races in the twelve months leading up to his 50th birthday in order to improve his fitness and support Francis House Children’s Hospice. Already 15 races in, he has seen positive results and has already raised more than £900 for the charity. Julie Williams, fundraising officer of Francis House, has wished him luck with the challenge. To follow Martyn’s progress, visit his JustGiving page.