A FIREFIGHTER is nearing the end of a year-long slog to run three miles everyday for charity.
Paul Bainbridge, from Red Watch, set the challenge last March and is due to end his personal marathon for If U Care Share and The Firefighters’ Charity on March 31.
Mr Bainbridge, from Great Lumley, will run the final leg with Matthew Smith, founder of the Chester-le-Street-based mental health and suicide prevention charity If U Care Share, which was set up after his brother Daniel O’Hare took his own life at the age of 19.
Mr Bainbridge revealed he was with Daniel O’Hare the day before he took his life 16 years ago.
He said the teenager’s death had a profound impact on the community around Great Lumley, not least of course his family.
Mr Bainbridge and Mr Smith will run together from the organisation’s office to the Durham Fire Station at Sniperley.
The 46-year-old came up with the idea a year ago as we headed into the first lockdown, in a bid to make up for the many fundraising events which were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
That included raising funds in the Great North Run, as he did in 2019 when he was part of the crew that ran with colleague Holly Ferguson as she broke the world record for a half marathon in high heels.
Mr Bainbridge said: “As lockdown and restrictions became more inevitable a year ago, I started to think of different ways I could still raise money.
“When the restrictions first came in, you could exercise outdoors for an hour and a friend of mine was already doing a run every day for charity.
“I thought what a great thing to do and decided to run three miles every day for a year. I thought that was a realistic target.
“I have always been into my sport but hated the training and running.
“I just go out, plod my way round to hopefully raise some money and promote mental health.”
Mr Bainbridge will finish his challenge on April 1 and can enjoy a well-deserved rest.
Until then he has just a few more days and miles to go.