Military veteran aims to raise £10,000 for charity by running 10,000k - including four ultra marathons

Mark Booth returns to action this weekend...

Mark Booth.
Mark Booth.

Lincolnshire Army veteran Mark Booth is planning to raise £10,000 for charity this year by covering 10,000k on foot and bike.

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 - beginning this weekend.

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

Beginning on Saturday, this is a 53-mile route from Goodwood Racecourse to Winchester, with panoramic views of the South Downs throughout.

Runners will pass the Cheesefoot head, Queen Elizabeth Country Park and finish on the steps of Winchester Cathedral.

Mark - formerly from Boston but now living in North Kesteven - is a Cyber Security Tutor, but 2021 will be 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.

Mark has had a changing relationship with running over time, which he first got into when at school.

As he grew older Mark fell out of love with running, but over the years 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 running 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.

Now Mark is really looking forward to putting his training to good use, with the camaraderie amongst Thresholds participants, being a particular draw to the events.

Mark hopes to raise £10,000 for his 4 chosen charities.

To support Mark’s cause visit here.

Further detail about the Twisted 10K challenge is available here.To learn more about Threshold’s scenic ultramarathons, visit the website.