LONG distance runner Darren Wells will have his first ever trip to America this year to take part in the event of a lifetime – the New York marathon.
Inspired by a disabled family friend, Darren (46) is raising cash for a charity that helps children with disabilities get into sport.
He said: “The Get Kids Going charity helps disabled children and young people – and, given the Olympics and Paralympics, I thought it would be a great opportunity to do something that helps encourage kids of all abilities to get into sport.”
Darren is hoping to raise at least £3,250 to buy a special sports wheelchair so a young athlete can achieve their dream.
He has a long time friend, Christopher Webster, who is confined to a wheelchair and never had the opportunities now offered in sport for disabled people.
Darren lives in Donington with his wife, Joanne, and they will go together to New York for the marathon, which is held on November 4.
He runs about 50-60 miles every week around his home patch and already has two London Marathons under his belt along with two-half marathons.
He has set a personal goal of beating his best London time of 3hrs 32mins, but completing his fundraising is the main goal.
“I just wanted to help someone,” he said. “It’s close to my heart. I just feel very fortunate that I am able-bodied and that I can run.”
When the going gets tough on training runs, he thinks of the charity and the people he’s trying to help.
Previous runs have all been in aid of cancer charities because Joanne’s mum lost her life to the disease.
Darren is a deputy manager with supermarket Morrisons in Peterborough and he’s so far raised £1,500 for the disabled sports charity, some from bucket collections at the tills.
Christopher, in his mid-thirties, now lives in Florida and he’s right behind Darren’s latest sporting venture.
l To sponsor Darren, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Darren Wells