Just as the nation pulls on its trainers to get fit for the New Year, Karl Hodson is looking forward to a well-earned rest.
The 27-year-old from Bamber Bridge has completed his goal of running at least one mile every day during 2015 – and has actually clocked up 1052.9 miles – the equivalent of running to Austria.
He has been spurred on by his quest to raise £1,500 for The Christie, the hospital which successfully treated him for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was just 17.
His mum and auntie were also diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, giving him additional motivation.
“It’s been hard,” said Karl.
“A mile a day is not much, but doing the 10, 11, 12 mile runs can be tiring.
“Even on days when I’ve not been well or not wanted to get up, I’ve still done it, sometimes at 10 or 11 at night.
“I’ve been motived by the sponsorship, but I wanted to improve my fitness and health and to try and promote fitness amongst everyone, especially those who have been or are going through cancer.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel. It has taken me nine years to take on this challenge, but it’s never too late to start.”
On top of the basic mile-a-day target, Karl has completed the Chester Marathon, five half marathons and 30 10k races, Tough Mudder, a charity boxing night, as well as a Lands End to John O’Groats Bike Ride with friends Steven Willetts and Jordan Dashti.
In total the trio cycled 904 miles over the 10 days. Steven raised more than £1,000 for Everton In The community Charity and Jordan raised over £1,000 for The Space Centre.
Karl said: “I’ve never been that good at running and when I started this challenge I could only really do a few miles.
“But after 30 days of running straight you get more used to it and getting better. It’s good when you start seeing your times improving and start competing.”
He said the hardest run of the year was the day after the marathon when he could barely walk, but the easiest was his last, on December 31.
He said: “I finished my last few runs in the city of Barcelona. I ran a total of eight miles that day, climbing 700ft. Running through the city, I took in the sights and let it all sink in.
“I had a five minute spell half way through my final run in which I got a little bit emotional. I was running past the Magic Fountain, up into the hills and finished at one of the highest parts of Barcelona.
“Looking over the city I felt on top of the world and it was en epic way to end such a fantastic year.”
Karl’s efforts have inspired five of his friends to do their own challenge this year, including Stephen and Jordan.
He added: “They’ve taken it over and I’ve already been out with one of them.
“Having completed it I know how much of a task this will be and they will have my support all year. Steven and Jordan were both there for me when I was going through cancer and the treatments.
“This year’s a leap year though, so they’ve got the joy of doing 366 days instead!”.
To donate to The Christie by sponsoring Karl, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/end2endKH/