JUST two days after pulling off a phenomenal fundraising feat in the name of his young nephew, marathon man John Gartland was back to pulling pints.
The 30-year-old barman returned to Chester last Monday after running 740 miles – the equivalent of 28 marathons – in just 22 days, taking in every Premier League club en route.
And John, of Churton Road, Boughton, was back behind the bar of The Bear and Billet after only one day’s rest.
“It’s been hard because I work over four floors. Both knees just feel like they’re going to buckle,” said John.
John’s challenge was inspired by his nephew William Reid, from Ashton Hayes, who was diagnosed with epilepsy at 25 weeks.
Now four, the youngster suffers up to 12 silent seizures every night and has yet to respond to any medication.
John is raising funds for the two causes that have transformed William’s life – family-run epilepsy charity The Daisy Garland and the Alder Hey Imagine Appeal.
And despite suffering a series of setbacks en route – including running three-and-a-half miles in the wrong direction after a sat-nav malfunction – John said the thought of his nephew was enough to keep him going.
“I was in so much pain the last week, I was crying like a big girl,” he said.
“After the Brecon Beacons, my quads seized up. When I woke up I literally couldn’t walk. I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish.
“They will still sore the next day, but I just thought about all the support I’d got and about William and I set off.”
Sara Garland, founder of The Daisy Garland, said: “It means an awful lot to us, it really does. We don’t have any NHS or Government funding, so we rely on people like John.”
John is still only a tenth of the way toward his long-term fundraising target of £50,000, but has no plans to tackle another run any time soon.
He said: “I’m definitely going to get there, but I’m not sure how yet. Maybe a bake sale?
“If I ran a marathon now, people wouldn’t sponsor me because it would seem too easy.”
John gave thanks to his sponsors, particularly LDF and Initio Interactive, and his bosses for their support.
Readers can still donate at www.runningmissdaisy.co.uk.