A BARMAN is preparing to run the equivalent of 28 marathons in just three weeks – taking in every Premier League football club en route – inspired by a brave four-year-old.
John Gartland’s nephew William Reid, of Ashton Hayes, was diagnosed with epilepsy at 25-weeks-old and suffers up to 12 seizures every night.
Now John, of Churton Road, has taken on the challenge of a lifetime to thank the two charities that have helped William and his parents cope.
The 30-year-old plans to run 740 miles around England and Wales in only 21 days, visiting all the Premier League football grounds along the way.
He aims to raise £25,000 for Alder Hey Imagine Appeal and another £25,000 for children’s epilepsy charity The Daisy Garland.
John said: “William’s such a lovely little boy. I have done a few marathons in the past to raise money, but I wanted to do something big.
“I was watching Eddie Izzard when he did his marathons and I thought ‘I’d love to do something like that’.”
John is confident he will reach his target, but admits he is dreading the trek to Swansea on day 12 – which will see him battle the Brecon Beacons.
“On average it’s 35 miles a day. The first three days are all 40 miles. The worst thing is, when I’m running back from Swansea, it’s 45.6 miles.”
John’s understanding bosses at The Bear and Billet, on Lower Bridge Street, have given him 25 days off work to complete the feat.
And his ‘second team’ Chester FC – he confesses to being an Everton fan – have invited him to take to the pitch at the Exacta Stadium on February 25, two days before he will hit the road.
Manchester United and Everton have already pledged signed shirts for auction, Big Brother winner Craig Phillips has promised to run alongside John for one stretch of the journey and sports giant Puma have offered to supply his running gear.
John also thanked local business Lease Direct Finance Ltd for their support.
To sponsor John or follow his progress, visit www.runningmissdaisy.co.uk.