Marathon man Philip runs in memory of dad

PHIL Johnson is more used to counting money than counting miles but the Newstead accountant has already notched up a significant number in a fundraising challenge.

Phil is already halfway through his target of 12 runs in 12 weeks which has seen him take part in the Great North Run and the Nottingham-based Robin Hood Half Marathon.

But the 42 year-old still has six races to run to complete the task and has just signed up to take on the strenuous London Marathon – all in memory of his father, Terry.

“When my dad died this summer from cancer I needed to do something positive,” explained Phil. “My dad always wanted me to get fit and healthy as I am a big lad, so I came up with the idea of doing a run and someone at work dared me to do this challenge, so that was it.”

Phil’s legs got warmed up with the Great North Run, followed by the Sheffield 10k, Robin Hood Half Marathon, Goose Fair Gallop, Kimberley 10k, Tamworth 10k and Birmingham Half Marathon last weekend.

Phil will be taking part this weekend in the Holme Pierrepont Spooky Sprint 10k followed swiftly by the Shepshed 7 mile, Robin Hood 10k, Xmas Pud Run Heanor 10k and Clowne Half Marathon before ending his mission with the Edwinstowe Trail 10k on December 2.

“I am running for The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation as although my dad was first ill with bowel cancer it spread to his lungs and caused his death,” explained Phil. “This mission has given me something to focus on and a way to deal with my grief other than just eat,” added Phil who lives alone.

“It hasn’t been easy and I am suffering a sore hamstring at the moment but the encouragement you get during the races is brilliant.

“The hardest part is the training as I run alone but once I get to race day, the crowds on the sidelines really keep me going.”

The training doesn’t stop in December though as Phil has just gained his place on the London Marathon with The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

“Cancer is simply an horrific disease which we need to fight together to beat,” added Phil who has already reached £1,000 in fundraising pledges. “I’ve been overwhelmed with the response from friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances – even strangers – especially as times are hard. It makes it all the more heartwarming.

“Please help and give what you can, however small.”

To sponsor Phil visit his page at justgiving.com/12weeks12races.