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Dudley runner raises £3,000 for those in need

By Dayna Farrington | Dudley | News | Published:

A Dudley man helped to raise more than £3,000 for charity by running five miles every day in January.

Mark Fantom raised £3,000 for the Christmas Lunch Project running five miles every day in January

Mark Fantom first took on the challenge last January by running 5k every day, helping him to raise £1,500 for the Dudley-based the Christmas Lunch Project.

But this year, Mark, who is a coach at Tipton Harriers, decided to up his challenge even further by instead running five miles a day.

His charity challenge helped to raise more than £3,000 for the Christmas Lunch Project which provides Christmas lunch hampers for needy families in Dudley and the Black Country.

Mark, 50, from Milking Bank, said: "It all started last year really, I woke up on New Year's Day and thought I fancied doing something positive. Everyone else was doing dry January, so I decided to run 5k every day in January for charity.

"I asked my friends for ideas of charities I could raise money for, and someone suggested the Christmas Lunch Project.

"I did it for 29 days in January 2019 and then I got injured – so I had to walk the last few days.

"I decided to up it this year – and decided to do five miles a day. Whether it was raining, snowing, icy or windy I got out there. I am a coach at Tipton Harriers and do a lot of running. But the challenge saw me double my mileage every week. Some of the children from Tipton Harriers helped me a lot and came out on my runs.

"I couldn't believe I raised£1,500 last year, and this year it was more than £3,000. I was astounded.

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"I was amazed and the charity was over the moon.

"The Christmas Lunch Project go out delivering parcels and food hampers to poorer families. I helped out during December, just before Christmas. Seeing some of the families and the children, their faces, it brought me to tears. That's why I wanted to do it again.

"Hopefully the money will benefit those families again this Christmas."

He added: "It has been mentioned about upping it in January 2021. Maybe doing 10k a day, that has been suggested.

"But I haven't decided yet – I am still open to suggestions. I will be doing something though."

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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