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On your marks: Jacques starts seven-marathon charity challenge at Molineux

By Liam Keen | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A charity runner is tackling a mammoth challenge - sprinting 182 miles in seven days in memory of his late brother.

Jacques Bernard started his seven marathons in seven days challenge at Wolves' Molineux stadium on Sunday as he ran around the pitch before setting off towards his home town of Bournemouth.

The 27-year-old is raising money for the Steve Bernard Foundation, which was set up in 2006 in memory of Jacques' elder brother, who died in a car crash in 2005, aged just 18.

His father Tony, aged 62, was born and bred in Wolverhampton before moving to Bournemouth 40 years ago, and as Steve was a big Wolves fan, so it was the perfect place to start.

Jacques Bernard at Molineux

Jacques, from Winton, in Bournemouth, will run from Wolverhampton to Worcester and then through Cheltenham, Cirencester, Marlborough, Salisbury and Christchurch before running his final marathon around the Bournemouth and Poole area - finishing at Bournemouth pier.

He will be joined by his father Tony, and a physiotherapist, who will take it in turns to cycle alongside him.

Jacques, who is currently training to be a primary school teacher, said: "I've done challenges before including the London Marathon, so I wanted to go bigger.

"I looked at the distance from Molineux to Bournemouth and it was six marathons long, so by adding in a lap around Bournemouth, that made it seven marathons in seven days - it worked out well.

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"It's scary to start this, I'm nervous but excited, it's been a long time coming.

"We're doing it to help people and it's been really good to tell children about it all.

"It's been amazing with the support we've had, from people that didn't know Stevie or didn't know us well either, so many people are behind us.

"It's nice to spread the love that my brother had, he was a massive Wolves fan and the club have been amazing for letting us do this."

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Jacques Bernard at Molineux

The foundation has raised more than £400,000 since it started and helps to get children involved in sport.

Jacques' run was originally aiming to raise £2,000, which has now been increased to £3,000 after smashing the previous target.

He added: "It keeps growing and we have to keep moving the target, it's been incredible.

His father Tony said: "It's fantastic and so emotional.

"I love this area and Wolves, so to come back here to do this is wonderful.

"So many people have helped and supported our foundation, there's so much good in people.

"Stevie wanted people to enjoy sport and we want to carry on this vision, it can change lives."

People can donate to Jacques' mammoth challenge by visiting uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JacquesBernard

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319688.

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