78-year-old Southport man plans over 300 mile virtual Japanese charity run

A 78-year-old man is planning to run 300 miles in aid of a life-saving charity close to his heart.

Since the 1980s John Curd has run 130 full marathons, including a dozen London Marathons, the New York Marathon, the Barcelona Marathon, and 39 Great North Run half marathons, all for charity.

But, although he is accustomed to running, the pensioner's latest challenge will see him complete his longest distance yet - 343 miles across a number of weeks.

John will take on the Nakasendo Trail Virtual Challenge in his hometown of Southport, running in aid of the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust, which operate the independent Southport Lifeboat.

He previously raised £800 in 2021 and is now trying to beat that number this time around.

John Curd has been running marathons since the 1980s. Credit: ITV Granada

John said: "Sometimes I do five or six miles a day, sometimes a marathon. I love running, I miss my friends I used to run with.

"I love the countryside. Since the pandemic, I've been out everyday. It brings me wellbeing."

He has been running marathons for 40 years, taking on some of the most iconic races in the world, and is now using his passion to help a cause close to his heart.

"Without the lifeboat station, so many lives would be lost. hey come out at any hour and they're so brave," he added.

John is raising funds for Southport's independent lifeboat Rescue Trust. Credit: ITV Granada

John is sending a positive message to anyone thinking of taking up running.

He said: "The more you do, the more you have a friend running with you - the more you will do."

He even suggested to ITV Granda Reports reporter Victoria Grimes that programme presenter Gamal Fahnbulleh would be a good running partner for her.

"I think he would be a good runner. One thing he will know is not to kill you," he said.

John's next challenge is the Great North Run in September - which will be his 40th.

You can find out more about John's campaign and donate here.

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