A BIG-HEARTED Limavady runner has raised £1400 for a local school that is currently in need of funds.
Springwell Running Club member, John Butcher, ran an impressive 24hours without stopping in order to raise funds for essential outdoor play and sensory equipment for Rossmar school.
On June 23, the super-fit Limavady man took part in the Energia24 Race at Victoria Park, Belfast where he managed to cover 101.96miles in the space of 24 hours, raising a grand total of £1400.
The 10th Energia 24-Hour Race is a form of ultra marathon, in which a competitor runs as far as they can. It is a 1-2-3 podium men’s and women’s race. There is also a team relay race incorporating men's,women's and mixed teams with each member doing three stints of two hours. The International Association of Ultra Runners (IAU) has awarded this race a gold label.
Following the event, John expressed his thanks on social media saying: “Thank you to everyone who sent messages of support, came to watch and helped me at the Energia 24hr.
“Probably my toughest event yet.
“I managed 101.96 miles burning up 13,326 calories (not really a lot).
“A big thank you to everyone who sponsored me to help raise funds for the Friends of Rossmar School- this really helped when I was at my lowest on the run.”
The Friends of Rossmar School is a charity set up to raise much needed funds for the school and events for the pupils.
The group is made up of family and friends of the children who attend Rossmar.
Founder of the group and Classroom Assistant at the school, Audrey Moore, told the Northern Constitution: “We are so grateful for John undertaking this challenge and thinking of us.
“He has raised much needed funds for our outdoor play/sensory equipment and it is very much appreciated.
“The whole community have been so good and we are very grateful for everyone's support.
“If you want to find out further information or contact us, you can visit our Facebook page, Friends of Rossmar School.”
Meanwhile, Paul O'Hara,whose son, Connor attends Rossmar School praised his cousin John who completed the gruelling 24 hour challenge.
Paul told the Northern Constitution: “John had ran around 80 marathons before this run and has raised a lot of money for good causes over the years.
“My wife Suzanne and I have always supported any fundraising events for Rossmar School as my son Connor attends there.
“He has ASD, a learning disability and has special educational needs.
“John had attended one of the fund raising table quizzes with us and offered to do the upcoming Energia 24 hour run to raise funds for Friends of Rossmar.
“We were delighted and Suzanne set up the fundraising campaign and we all got busy, promoting and collecting for the campaign.
“We very quickly blew through our original target of £240, and thought if we got £10 for every mile we'd be doing well.
“We were overwhelmed with the support and are very grateful to those who donated to the tune of £1400.
“People I think were very supportive as its a great cause and the challenge of running for 24 hours was a very inspiring one.
“My family and John's family were all there for the last few miles to cheer him on and John's wife Gael had stayed out all night to support John as he ran, so Gael deserves a special note of thanks also.”
“We are delighted John acheived his goal of running 100 miles over 24 hours and in doing so raised much needed funds for our son’s school.”