5K a day dad finishes year long challenge for Nottinghamshire Hospice
After running more than 2,155 kilometres – the distance from Nottingham to Casablanca – you could forgive photographer Andy Wallis for wanting to take it easy.
But instead the dad-of-three decided to end his year-long challenge, of running at least 5K a day in aid of Nottinghamshire Hospice, with a half marathon from his home in Stapleford to the charity’s head quarters in Mapperley.
Stepping over the finish line on Monday January 26 with three of his closest friends, the 41-year-old still had bags of energy and encouraged the foursome to round off their exhausting three hour jaunt with a 300 metre race to take the morning’s distance to a tidy 22K.
He said: “It is a bit surreal really; it’s great to finally get it finished but it will feel strange not having to run every day, it has done more for me than I ever thought possible.”
Over the course of the year Andy has lost 3st by keeping up his daily jogs around Nottinghamshire and he has also raised £5,200 for the hospice – £200 more than his target.
The money is enough to pay for 30 days of nursing care at the hospice, in Woodborough Road, which provides specialist care for people who have cancer and other life-limiting illness as well as support for their families and carers.
Andy said: “I still can’t decide why I decided to do it, I haven’t got an X Factor sob story, I just did a bit of photography for the hospice and then felt like I wanted to do more.”
Andy’s proud mum and dad, Alan and Coral, were also at the finish line ready to give him a pat on the back – as well as a welcomed lift home.
Coral said: “He told me he was going to run 5K for charity last January and I told him what a great idea it was. Then a week later I asked him if he had done it yet and how it had gone; well he just laughed at me. I hadn’t realised it was 5K every day, I was just impressed when I thought he was doing it as a one off. We are so proud.”
Alan added: “He wasn’t very sporty at school, never into football or anything, but he has definitely started something now, he is doing a sponsored row later in the year.”
As well as the Hospice’s 24km sponsored static row in March, Andy has also entered the Coventry Half Marathon, the Great Northern Run, the Robin Hood Marathon and a 100km bike ride this year.
Nottinghamshire Hospice chief executive Rowena Naylor-Morrell said: “All the way through the year I have been overwhelmed by Andy’s commitment and understanding; he really embodies everything we are about at the hospice, we are very proud of him.”
Andy is currently editing a short film entitled Wallis Gump based on his running experiences this year.