13 Feb Local charity worker James Byfield runs 95 miles to raise money for people with leprosy
Lepra’s Marketing, Communications and Fundraising Assistant, James Byfield, challenged himself to run 95 miles in a single week to coincide with the 95th anniversary of Lepra’s inauguration and fundraise for people affected by leprosy. Raising over £500 so far, the money donated can be used to help diagnose people in India, Bangladesh and Mozambique with leprosy, along with providing the cure and post treatment care that they may need.
Waking up at 3am, James would roll out of bed to start running, running upwards of 14 miles before going to work at 9am and even running a further 6 miles on his way home later the same day. With the cracking of aching joints, James pushed against the elements, enduring the frigid winter weather with snow and icy paths greeting him on his early morning runs.
James finished the 95th mile on Thursday 31 January, Lepra’s 95th anniversary. He ran for a total of 21 hours and 25 minutes, running the equivalent incline of three Eiffel towers. After completing the challenge James said, “I’m glad it’s over and that I can finally have a lie in tomorrow”.
While this challenge has been the furthest distance James has run in a short amount of time, he has had previous experience running marathons, completing his first full marathon in Derry with no training in 2017. He has since participated in the Brighton and Madrid marathons.
Now that the challenge is complete, James plans on running marathons in Paris, Ottawa and Stockholm for Lepra. With the Ottawa marathon providing an additional ‘Lumberjack Challenge’ that features a 2km, 5km and 10km race on a Saturday, followed by a full marathon the next day.
When asked about his motivations for running James stated, “I mainly run the marathons for the medals, I don’t particularly like running, but the atmosphere of the race day and wearing the medal after finishing the gruelling 26 miles makes it all worth it”.
You can support James by donating on his fundraising page: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesByfield