In order to raise funds for a cancer charity, an insurance worker from Manchester will run at least 5km (three kilometres) each day in 2021.
Mark Flint (44), from Cheadle Hulme. Stockport has completed more than 260 runs, including longer challenges like the Great North Run one week ago and London Marathon in two weeks.
Flint lost his uncle to the disease a few years back. His father was also diagnosed with cancer. Since then, he has been fundraising for the Christie cancer charity.
“It’s for everybody who has been diagnosed with cancer… it’s helping them to have that quality of life,” he told the PA news agency.
Flint started his journey to exercise two years ago. He works as a fraud investigator in the insurance industry.
He said, “I went through quite a bad divorce and I needed to lose weight, I was in a tough place mentally and physically.”
“I was walking through Manchester city centre one day and there was an advert for Christie’s to walk up the Hilton Beetham Tower.
“It was 68 flights of stairs and I just said, I’m going to do that, and it all started from there.
“It was a win-win for me getting the physical side and mental side, but also as a thank you for Christie’s and what they did for (my uncle) to make his life as good as it could have been up until he ultimately passed away.”
After being inspired by runners on Instagram, Mr Flint decided to tackle the daily challenge in 2021. He posts daily progress on his page runningmanflinty.
Running has improved his mental health, he said. He also lost two and a quarter stone (16kg) in weight.
Flint claimed that he has not suffered any injuries despite his “at least 10” runs over 5km and his jogging. However, he said that he has had blisters since the Great North Run 21km (13-mile) in North Carolina.
When asked what message he hopes to convey through his journey, Flint replied: “I always say, if I can do it, anybody can do it.”
You don’t have to buy expensive gear. All you need is a pair of trainers, shorts, and a T-shirt.
It’s free and you can visit amazing places. You can also explore the area and raise money.
Caroline Wheeldon, Mr Flint’s partner, stated that Mark’s determination and work ethic are amazing.
“Finishing this journey on December 31 will be an incredible achievement.”
As part of his daily challenge, Mr Flint also attempted one of the last legs of a world-record attempt.
He joined a group of 50 runners to create an image that organizers claimed would be the largest piece of GPS running art. It depicted someone moving from a walk to a sprint.
This piece will be later verified by Guinness World Records, and the exercise tracker Strava. It follows the route of the Michelob Ultra Marathon which runs 250km (155 mi) through Liverpool and Manchester.