A local ICT manager is heading towards the finish line of his charity challenge to run 2021 miles in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Oakenshaw-based Chris Reay has committed to raising £2021 for the charity by running 2021 miles over the course of this year — of which he’s already completed over 1700 miles and reached 70% of his fundraising target.

He’s running in memory of his close friend and colleague, Roy, who received the devastating diagnoses of pancreatic cancer earlier this year and who recently lost his battle fighting the disease.

Chris, who works as ICT Manager at Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd, explained: “I simply had to do what I could to try and help in the fight against cancer. I knew it was too late for my mate but having this challenge helped me to cope and we regularly chatted whilst I was out running.

“Having managed to run 2020 kilometres last year, I thought attempting to run 2021 miles in 2021 was a great idea and would make it even more challenging, but it soon dawned on me that this would mean running an average of over 5.5 miles every day of the year — assuming I remain injury-free!”

To boost his mileage, Chris has taken part in various organised runs throughout the year including the Blackpool 10k, local 10k and 5k events, and the Great North Run 2021 (in which he achieved a personal best time of 1 hour, 35 minutes, 41 seconds (eclipsing his previous record by nearly 5 minutes)). He also took part in the Bradford Half Marathon on 31st October.

Despite the environmental obstacles he faces, as snow and ice become a potential issue in the coming weeks, Chris’s motivation remains high and his dedication is absolute in achieving his target.

“So far, I’ve completed over 1,700 miles, which is fantastic, but with the cold, dark, icy mornings and nights drawing in, I know achieving my goal will be a tough ask, despite my motivation being incredibly high. Reaching my £2,021 sponsorship target would mean the world to me, my family and my friends. Please do dig deep and support me if you can — any donation, large or small, would be massively appreciated.”

If you wish to support Chris Reay in his 2021 challenge, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Chris-Reay6.