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Novice Stourbridge runner accepts iconic charity challenge
12:03pm Tuesday 19th March 2013 in News
A FEW drinks down the local pub has morphed into the challenge of a lifetime for a novice runner from Stourbridge.
Ian Bytheway has taken up the challenge with cousin Dave Bytheway, Nick Cockburn and Nigel Bolton to swap his day job as an accountant to run 62.5 miles in 15 hours as part of the gruelling London to Brighton challenge in May.
The quartet, who are competing under the name Team Running on Empty, are looking to pound the streets, hills and pathways of South East England to raise £5000 for Balls to Cancer, a local charity established by Mark Bates to fund male cancer awareness, education and research.
As part of their 500-mile strong training programme they will complete two ultra races, four marathons, two half marathons and the infamous Groundhog Marathon – 105 laps of Telford Athletic Stadium.
Ian Bytheway, who works at Conveyor Units, said: “We were having a few beers down the pub when somebody threw down the gauntlet of running 62.5 miles.
“None of us are affiliated to a running club and, although we were all decent footballers in our day, I think it’s safe to say we’d hung up our boots for the real ale.
“Still a challenge is a challenge and we just needed something to get behind to make it all worthwhile.”
The 39-year-old added: “I’d heard about the excellent work Mark and his family were doing in setting up Balls to Cancer and I liked the fact it was helping to support men with cancer.
“We had another chat down the pub and the rest is history.”
Team Running on Empty has had support from local businesses including Conveyor Units, Bytheway Accountants and Jacks Café and Bar, Wolverhampton, where a fundraising event is being held on Friday, March 22.
Nick Cockburn added: “£5,000 is our target and we are already well on the way to achieving that. I think that will make us one of Balls to Cancer’s biggest one off fundraisers.
“I’m sure by the 60th mile, we’ll all be wishing we hadn’t escaped for that cheeky pint down the pub.”
To make a donation to the team visit www.justgiving.com/londonbrighton2013 or text Daft62 £5 to 70070.