Keen runner in final stages of 2,021 mile challenge in support of Northampton Hope Centre

It is hoped the 'unrelenting' challenge will raise more than £3000 for the homeless

Monday, 29th November 2021, 8:45 pm
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 8:48 pm
Gary has been fundraising through his runs since 2015

After less than a year, a Northampton man is within reach of running 2,021 miles in 2021 to raise money for Northampton Hope Centre.

Gary Herbert, who started the effort January 1st of this year, has now passed 1937 miles, meaning he has just 84 left to complete his self-set challenge.

The family man took it on in hopes of raising money and awareness for the homeless of Northampton.

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So far he has been extremely successful, raising £2360 at time of publication with even higher hopes for the future.

To stay on track, Gary has had to run an average of 40 miles per week, or 160 miles per month, rain or shine, in what he has called an 'unrelenting' challenge.

This included his most recent 'coldest run of the year' where the temperature never rose above minus 2 degrees Celsius.

Gary said: "I have done challenges before, but nothing like this.

"There have been some really tough and harrowing times out there on my own.

"There's no time to rest or recover and my legs are almost always aching.

"But my thoughts were 'at least I've got a roof over my head'. I can't comprehend what it's like for the homeless to live in conditions like that."

This is not the first time Gary has used running to raise money.

He began the practice in 2015 when his son Lewis, who is severely disabled with a rare condition, needed medical equipment that was not provided on the NHS.

So Gary began 'five years of fundraising', in which he ran the Northampton half marathon and four full marathons.

He later completed what would become the prelude to his current challenge, by running 1600 miles in a year to celebrate Lewis' 16th birthday.

When asked why he chose to support the homeless this time around, Gary said that he wants to help remove the 'stigma' around it and remind people that in many ways they are no different from everyone else.

He said: "People should realise that homelessness can happen to anyone at any stage of their life.

"All it takes is two or three life-changing events to land you there.

"It costs just four pounds to feed a homeless person for a day.

"People need to be grateful for what they have and, if they can help me raise some money for the people who need our help then that would be amazing."

Gary says he hopes to pass the £3000 mark before finishing his challenge.

It is expected to end on December 17th, where Gary will end his run at Northampton Hope Centre and meet some of the people there.

Anyone who is interested in donating can do so at Gary's Just Giving page.