25/07/2012 - Permalink

Anyone can do a marathon

Related topics: Community / Health

News from Shropshire County NHS Primary Care Trust, our partners: 

11-year-old Josh Beharrell has shared his innovative way to do more exercise, whilst raising money for charity. 

Following in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps, Josh wanted to continue the family tradition of raising money for Severn Hospice. 

Josh first came up with the idea of running a mile a day for 26 days after his father Matt ran the London Marathon for the Hospice back in April 2010.  Josh’s grandfather, Gordon Beharrell, was a well-known figure within the community, and raised £70,000 for the Hospice before he sadly passed away in 2009. 

Josh, along with a school friend, ran a mile each weekday around his school field track in Shrewsbury during July 2010, raising £1,000. 

Shropshire County PCT, Shropshire Council and Severn Hospice loved the concept that anyone can do a marathon, and now want to encourage more people to do their own My Marathon. 

Especially with the Olympics taking place, people might be inspired to be more active. However, they don’t need to admire the athletes from afar:Josh has proven anyone can do a marathon and set their own health targets. 

My Marathon is all about having fun whilst improving your health.  From a health perspective, doing more exercise on a regular basis helps prevent long-term problems such as heart disease and strokes.  If the thought of doing a marathon seems daunting, do My Marathon – a mile each day over a month. 

It does not need to be running either; try a new activity such as swimming, tennis or even rock climbing.  All can help to keep you active and improve your health. 

Josh said:

“I was inspired by my dad and granddad to raise money, and wanted to follow my dad who did the London Marathon.  I was told I was too young to do a full marathon, but I like running, and along with my friend decided to run eight laps of my school field everyday over 26 days.  We raised over £1,000, and on the last day were joined by our friends to help us reach our goal. 

“It was hard at first and our legs hurt; however, we soon got used to it and it was worth it. I would definitely think of doing it again.” 

Josh’s advice for anyone thinking of doing My Marathon is:

“Have fun but don’t do too much, start getting used to a mile a day and don’t rush ahead of yourself.  Have a go.” 

Shropshire Councillor Steve Charmley is leading the way and has signed up to the project. Steve, who like many of us does not necessarily feel like exercise after a busy working day, will be showing how easy it can be to do a mile each day. 

Steve Charmley commented:

“I have always led a very active lifestyle, but since becoming a Shropshire Councillor, I have found it hard to keep active.  I heard about Josh’s story and was inspired to take up the challenge; the added incentive of raising money for Severn Hospice will help me to complete the challenge.  I hope that, after completing 26 miles in 26 days in any way I choose, exercise will become a regular habit once again.  I hope that others will also take up the opportunity to get active and be inspired during Olympic year.” 

Miranda Ashwell, Shropshire County PCT’s Programme Lead for Physical Activity, said:

“My Marathon really sums up the health messages we aim to promote.  We all lead busy lives; however, a lack of exercise can have serious health risks. 

“Sometimes we need a bit of motivation in order to do something new; if improving your health is not your motivation, why not raise money for charity.  It can be any charity. Remember, My Marathon can be about you as well; you don’t have to raise money – you could just decide to complete your own marathon and carry out more exercise. 

“Help us spread the message; tell us about your own My Marathon by visiting www.shropshire.nhs.uk.  Keep a lookout, as we will soon be setting up a Facebook page to capture the different My Marathons taking place locally.” 

Find out more about My Marathon and follow Steve’s success at www.shropshire.nhs.uk.