Meet the Ipswich school friends running a marathon a week for mental health

From L-R (top row), David Smith, Nick Larsen, Henry Finbow, Jacob Henderson, (bottom row) Rich Water

From L-R (top row), David Smith, Nick Larsen, Henry Finbow, Jacob Henderson, (bottom row) Rich Waterman, Harrison Sharp, Chris Turner, and Armani Schaar, who are all running a marathon a week in May for charity. Picture: JACOB HENDERSON - Credit: JACOB HENDERSON

A group of former Northgate students are running a marathon a week throughout May in hope of raising money for Mind and Ipswich Hospital, where a close friend is receiving treatment for a brain tumour.

The eight men, aged 23 and 24, will run a combined total distance of 1,428km over the next 30 days, which is the equivalent of Lands End to John O’Groats – the traversal of the whole length of the island of Great Britain between two extremities.

Each person will run 180km throughout May, which is roughly 6km every day, hoping to raise vital funds for Mind charity and the Woolverstone Centre at Ipswich Hospital.

The group are originally from Ipswich and met at Northgate Sixth Form in 2012 – with some of the guys friends since primary school.

Jacob Henderson, 24, said: “We were looking for a way to use our daily exercise for a good cause, so when this charity challenge was suggested, we thought we’d go for it.”

Jacob said the group “know the importance of mental health more now than before, and a few have struggled with it in the past”.


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He said: “Mental health is an issue close to the hearts of those in our friendship group, and we are also well aware that the Covid-19 pandemic will be affecting the mental wellbeing of people all over the UK and the rest of the world.

“One of our close friends was diagnosed with a brain tumour last summer and received treatment and help from Woolverstone Centre so that’s why we’ve also picked them, the money will be a 50/50 split.”

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Also taking on the challenge is Harrison Sharp, Chris Turner, and Henry Finbow, who are all aged 24, plus Nick Larsen, Armani Schaar, David Smith, and Rich Waterman, all aged 23.

“None of us are professional runners by any means, so this will be a test, but so far things are looking good with training and fundraising,” added Jacob.

“We’ve only had our JustGiving page set up for a couple of days, but the response has already been fantastic - people have been so generous. We’re very grateful and it’s motivated us even more for what should be a testing but enjoyable month.”

You can donate to their fundraising page here to show your support.

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