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Man runs 5km a day for 50 days for charity




A man, who admitted to not having exercised for over three years, has just completed a 5km run every day for 50 days straight.

Nick Johnson, 45, of Denton Avenue, Grantham, took on the gruelling challenge to not only “get his mojo back” but to raise much needed funds for a charity that provides respite breaks for children with life limiting illnesses and their families.

Reuben’s Retreat was set up in memory of 23-month-old Reuben Graham, who tragically passed away in 2012 from an aggressive form of cancerous tumour - Atypical terratoid rhabdoid tumour (ATRT)

His heartbroken family set up a retreat in the North West of England to provide respite breaks for children who have a life limiting and/or life threatening illness and their families.

The retreat provides a range of services including counselling, activity and therapy days and short breaks.

Nick, who lives at home with wife Debbie and children Laurie, 12 and Louis, 10, came up with the idea after meeting Reuben’s dad Mike at a conference.

He said: “I had the privilege of being sat at a table with Reuben’s dad, Mike. After hearing the devastating story of Reuben but also the amazing work they are doing in his memory, I knew that I had to get involved.

“This year, they are focusing on converting their building into the day centre, sensory room and hydrotherapy pool.”

Despite going away on holiday for part of the 50-day challenge, Nick did not miss a single mile since embarking on his mission in May.

He said: “It wasn’t easy as I had to fit each 5km run alongside my work commitments and personal life, which sometimes meant getting up very early in the morning to run or going very late at night.”

But despite the long hours, Nick is overwhelmed with the amount of support that he has received along the way, adding: “The support has been incredible. I posted on Facebook everyday to keep my family and friends updated and many would often turn up to run with me. I felt like Forest Gump.”

Nick travelled to Glossop in Derbyshire on Saturday with Debbie to complete his final 5km alongside Reuben’s dad Mike.

The pair set off from Reuben’s resting place - ‘Reubens garden’ and followed a preplanned 5km route which finished up at the retreat. Nick and Debbie were also invited to attend Reuben’s ball later that night.

Whereas most of us would be resting after running for 50 days, Nick is already pounding the pavements once again.

He added: “I had to go for a bikeride this week. I can’t just stop.”

Despite already raising over £2,500, which is more than his original £2,300 target, there is still time to show your support and make a donation by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/debbie-johnson24

If you would like more information about Reuben’s Retreat and the services its provides, visit www.reubensretreat.org



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