Huddersfield Teacher's Marathon Challenge For Mengitis

David and his nephew Oliver.

"I'm very happy that I've completed it!”

Huddersfield teacher David Chew ran an incredible eight marathons in eight days to raise money for meningitis after nearly losing his nephew to the deadly disease.

The superhuman effort for the charity Meningitis Now started with a “flattish” run by a canal in Kirkstall, Leeds – and ended with an extraordinary 50 mile “ultra” marathon through the Yorkshire Peaks.

David said that while the first run was reasonably easy, things started to get more difficult after that: “The second marathon was really tough!” he said. “It was hard to get back out and start running again.

“About six miles in it started to lash it down and I'd forgotten a jacket in my bag.  I had to run home and get one before carrying on.  So, I ended up doing 29 miles on that second day!”

David, who completed the challenge after nearly losing his nephew Oliver to meningitis, said the marathons during the week went well overall. But he did add that, unsurprisingly, it was tough doing a full day’s work, going home, and then having to go straight out again to complete that day’s run before dark.

“I made pretty good time on them all keeping it fairly slow and steady,” he said.  “They all took me between four and a half to five hours to complete.

“But I underestimated the nutrition side of things slightly and I struggled to get enough calories into my body.  I was constantly eating and hydrating but it never seemed enough!”

He said that friends and family had been a great support, either running small sections with him or meeting him at certain points on route. Then came the big one: the 50 mile Ultra at the end of his challenge which he ran through the Yorkshire peaks. Luckily he must have kept some reserves of energy because he said it had gone “fantastically well”.  

“I had friends and family supporting along the way and the sun was out all day,” he said.  “I did end up slightly sunburnt and my blisters are horrific after this weekend though, so I've been hobbling around at work so far.

“There is more than £2,000 on my Just Giving page and I think I'll have another £500 in the buckets and other bits to collect.

“So overall, I'm very happy that I've completed it!”

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