Veteran aims to raise £10,000 for charity by running 10,000k

Ruskington Army veteran Mark Booth is planning to raise £10,000 for charity this year by covering 10,000k on foot and bike.
Mark Booth on completing the Race to the King on the South Downs Way. EMN-210625-142955001Mark Booth on completing the Race to the King on the South Downs Way. EMN-210625-142955001
Mark Booth on completing the Race to the King on the South Downs Way. EMN-210625-142955001

The 46-year-old will be completing four ultramarathon events this summer as part of his Twisted 10k Challenge to raise money for four charities and begun his campaign last week.

The Race to the King was the first of the Threshold ultramarathons Mark hopes to complete, contributing over 260km towards his 10,000km goal over 2021.

On completion Mark said he was a bit sore but enjoying the journey.

Beginning on Saturday, June 19. the 53-mile route from Goodwood Racecourse to Winchester offered panoramic views of the South Downs throughout.

Runners passed the Cheesefoot Head, Queen Elizabeth Country Park and finished on the steps of Winchester Cathedral.

Hot on the heels of the last challenge along the South Downs Way, Mark’s next ultramarathon was the 100Km ‘Race to the Tower’ along the St Oswald’s Way in Northumberland over the weekend.

Mark -– formerly from Boston but now living in Ruskington – is a cyber security tutor, but 2021 is a total change in gear for him.

His Twisted 10k challenge includes all of the Threshold events, as well as a series of other challenges which he hopes will allow him to rack up a total of 10,000km across the year.

Mark is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support, SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity – Alzheimer’s Research UK and Help for Heroes.

As a veteran of 22 years himself the military-focussed charities are close to Mark’s heart.

“I, along with almost everyone I know, have seen the impact that cancer and Alzheimer’s has on individuals and families,” he said.

By coincidence, the latest event started on Armed Forces Day – ideal to highlight the two military charities he is fundraising for.

Mark hopes to raise £10,000 for his four chosen charities and has already raised almost £2,000.

Mark says he first got into running at school, but as he grew older fell out of love with it. Over the years he has tried to reintroduce it as a regular form of exercise.

Even then, recurring injuries forced his focus to shift to cycling, but to complete his Twisted 10k challenge, he re-introduced long-distance walking and running.

A recurrence of old calf problems has affected his training, resulting in him accepting that he will have to predominantly walk the events over two days.

Mark advocates how running and exercising in general was a huge help for him, getting through the pandemic.

He acknowledges that his mental wellbeing really ‘took a hit’ during the first six months of lockdown.

Then as he started exercising again and eating better, he lost weight, got fitter and ‘significantly improved’ his mental wellbeing.

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