Charity champ on the run every day – for a year

Michael Rushe is running 5k every day for a year to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson's UK Charity
Michael Rushe is running 5k every day for a year to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson's UK Charity
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A Preston dad has set himself the challenge of running 5km (three miles) every day for a whole year – as well as a marathon.

Dad-of-two Michael Rushe, who lives in Preston and works at Albany Academy in Chorley, will run the distance between Blackpool and Florence over the 12 months, adding up to around 1,200 miles.

“I’ve made the mistake of choosing a leap year, though,” he says. “So I’ve added an extra day to the challenge.”

Marketing and community officer Michael, who also runs an after-school fitness club for students, started running four years ago following the birth of his eldest son.

He’s already completed the London Marathon and the National Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for the Parkinson’s UK charity, and now wants to do something throughout 2016 to continue to spread the word about the disease.

Michael, from Ribbleton, says: “I started running just to keep fit and get me out of the house a bit. I run around 40 to 50 miles a week anyway, so I think I will be comfortable running 5km a day.

“It will be fitting it around work and family life which will be difficult. It will take about 20 to 25 minutes a day, but some days we’ve got things like weddings to attend.

“I’ll definitely do it, though. Once I set myself a target, I stick to it.”

When Michael completed the London Marathon in April last year, he was running four times a week for eight months, as well as fitting in gym sessions and football games to keep on top of his fitness.

After the marathon, he took a break for a few months – something he won’t be able to do this May when he takes on the Liverpool Rock and Roll Marathon. “I’m back to running four times a week now,” he says. “There’ll be days where I’ll just want to stay in, especially if the weather’s bad, and I’ll have to carry on after the marathon but you’ve just got to get through it.”

He’s chosen his 31st birthday on February 19 to start the year-long challenge, and adds: “I’m really looking forward to getting started. It’s a mix of excitement and nervous energy.”

Michael has seen at first hand how Parkinson’s affects people, after his wife’s grandad was diagnosed six years ago. “He used to be so active, and I’ve seen how he’s deteriorated,” Michael says. “But the charity has done a lot to help him and he has done his own fund-raising, so I wanted to help raise money and awareness too.”

- To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Michaels5kadayforayear.