Dad goes the extra mile for son

Mark Kirkham from Adlington with son James
Mark Kirkham from Adlington with son James

A Chorley dad has gone the extra mile for his son by running three marathons in just one weekend.

Mark Kirkham, from Adlington, took on the challenge of running the length of Hadrian’s Wall from Carlisle to Gateshead - the equivalent of three marathons.

It was all for his two-year-old son James who has a rare condition called Chromosome 18q Distal Deletion Syndrome, or 18q.

The disorder is so rare it affects just one in 1.6m people and causes speech delays, nervous system damage, and hearing loss.

Mark, 34, of Lancaster Place, ran the distance to help raise more than £1,400 for the Nystagmus Network, and the Chromosome 18 Registry and Research Society.

He said: “The start of the race was delayed as the organisers had to make sure the paths hadn’t washed away the night before. Luckily, the paths were there, but unluckily, they were under a foot of water.

“I ran 32 miles on the first day, camping overnight, and the next day started with a scramble up a hillside before racing across all types of terrain. I finally entered Gateshead and finished by running over Millennium Eye bridge at Baltic Quay.

“To my absolute amazement, I completed the 69 mile run in 14 hours, 14 minutes and 16 seconds - I finished 64th out of 258 starters.

“Considering my main aim was just to survive it, finishing in the top 25 per cent was brilliant.

“All those months training around Rivington with the Horwich Harriers paid dividends!

“I’m so thrilled will the donations. It was an amazing weekend and both one of the greatest and hardest things I have ever accomplished.”

To donate to the cause visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/kirky