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Phil’s Charity Challenge

Our Porter, Phil Hammond an enthusiastic runner, is in the final stages of preparing to run 19 Marathons in 43 Days to raise money for the Veterans Charity.

Phil’s story of how he got into running is an inspiration to any couch potato. Wanting to lose a little weight and looking for something to do, Phil was persuaded by his friend to buy his first pair of running shoes nearly ten years ago and once he got over the struggle of the first mile he hasn’t looked back since – and is looking to run his 100th marathon in October this year.

On completion of his 100th marathon, Phil will join the exclusive 100 Marathon Club – something he has been working towards over the last decade – an astonishing personal achievement, but Phil wanted to make this achievement more far reaching and having recently experienced the comradery at the ‘Forces March’ endurance challenge Phil wants to give something back and has chosen to raise money for the Veterans Charity.

Founded in March 2008 to support UK veterans of all generations, the Veterans Charity provides support to veterans facing hardship and distress – be this supplying essential items, such as food and clothing, to providing a dedicated and much needed support network. This is a unique service and Phil is truly humbled that his charity run can be a small part of this – although running 19 marathons in 43 days sounds no mean feat!

Phil’s epic challenge starts on 22 May in the picturesque setting of the Lake District. Revisiting the course of his first ever marathon – the Brathay Windermere Marathon, also known as ‘The Beautiful Marathon’, Phil will make his way around the breath-taking 26.2 mile anti-clockwise lap of Lake Windermere.

Two days later Phil will commence the next leg of his challenge, known as the ‘Forces March’. This is one of the UKs most demanding endurance challenges where Phil will run five marathons in five days between the 25 and 29 May. Phil is no stranger to this event, having previously completed this twice before and will see Phil cover more than 139 miles from Ilfracombe in North Devon to Bulford in Wiltshire.

In June Phil will tackle the hilly challenge of the Huddersfield Marathon and luckily the little flatter Wakefield Marathon, before he undertakes the ‘10 in 10 days’ Great Barrow Challenge between 23 June and 2 July and his final marathon in this charity challenge in Halifax on 3 July. This is as tough as it gets and will see Phil run 11 marathons over 11 days! The Great Barrow Challenge is a 10 day festival of running over five multi-terrain courses in the heart of Suffolk. Phil will then make the overnight journey back up to Halifax to complete the last leg of this epic challenge.

So what’s the secret to Phil’s willpower and dedication? He simply loves the feel good buzz running brings and advises anyone to give it a go – “The settee to the front door is the hardest part of any run. The key is to start small and build it up slowly, local park runs are a great place to start” and Phil’s biggest piece of advice – “don’t skimp on the trainers – your feet and joints will thank you in the end!”

To sponsor Phil in this impressive and most certainly challenging charity run, please visit Phil’s dedicated sponsor site.

In addition to Phil’s marathon escapades, he’s also decided to draw on his experience as a former bicycle mechanic and has generously offered to run a cycle repair/ maintenance service in return for a donation to the Veterans Charity. Please note any required parts will incur an additional charge. This service will be available until August 2016 and is open to all NHS staff within Leeds. For further information, please contact Phil direct on 0113 2064115.

We’re incredibly proud of Phil’s dedication to fundraising and wish him the best of luck with this enduring challenge. We’ll be supporting Phil throughout and you can follow Phil’s progress via our @MedEdLeeds twitter feed.