Man to run 1,000 miles for charity

A man is attempting to run 1,000 miles in aid of the British Heart Foundation’s lifesaving research.

Manish Patel, from West Bromwich, has already run 10 kilometres every day in July and is hoping he can achieve the milestone by the end of 2020.

The 30-year-old was inspired to take part in his own challenge after plans to run marathons in Manchester and Liverpool were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

And he has chosen to raise funds for the BHF after losing a relative to heart and circulatory conditions.

Manish said: “I lost my uncle, Kirit Patel, to a stroke in 2016. I had seen him weeks before his death and he appeared to be in good health – he was a big Arsenal fan and, with me being a big West Bromwich Albion fan, we had been joking about the football.

“I found out on Christmas Eve that year that he had passed away. The news came as a complete shock to me and my family, as it shows how sudden and devastating these conditions can be.”

Manish hopes to still run the Manchester Marathon – which is currently postponed until April 2021 – in his uncle’s memory.

But as he waits for the event, he has been pounding the pavements of West Bromwich to start his fundraising off strong.

“I’ve been getting myself up and out at around 5.40am each day to run 10K,” said Manish.

“Some runs have been really tough and hard going but I’m really pleased to have completed 10K every day over the last month.

“I’m not going to stop there, and I’ll continue running regularly over the year to reach the 1,000 miles – I’ve reached almost 800 miles so far.

“Knowing that the money I raise will help the BHF fund its vital research into heart and circulatory diseases is an amazing feeling and is also helping to get me through those tough days.”

Manish also hopes that his challenge will inspire others to get active - and has been marking his progress with daily video updates on Twitter.

He added: “I really want to motivate others to get running, as keeping physically active helps to keep the heart healthy.

“I’m also really passionate about encouraging people to follow a healthy diet, as it reduces the risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases and their risk factors, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.”

To donate towards Manish’s fundraiser, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/mpbhf2020

Ashleigh Mills, fundraising manager at the BHF, said: “It’s amazing to hear that Manish has dedicated this difficult challenge to the BHF, and we are so grateful for his support so far.

“Our lifesaving research is fuelled by the generous donations of the public, but the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic means that our investment in new research could fall by £50 million this year.

“That’s why we need the support of the public to back the BHF now, more than ever.”

For more information about fundraising for the BHF, email Ashleigh Mills at millsa@bhf.org.uk or call 07741 907023.

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