A marathon man’s running challenge has just become a lot more challenging after a knee operation left him laid up for a week.
Richard Shaw – known to his mates as Benny – aims to raise more than £20,000 for research into motor neurone disease (MND).
Inspired by RL legends Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield, Richard is planning a 7/7 challenge. He’ll run seven miles a day for seven days – and then on the seventh day run to Headingley and also run the Leeds Marathon, making his final day a 43-mile ultra-marathon.
Richard, 46, of Moldgreen, is now facing a race against time to get fit for his week of runs, which start on Monday May 8.
Last week Richard underwent surgery on his troublesome right knee meaning he had to have a week off from running.
He plans to be pounding the pavements again by the weekend to get himself fit and insists his challenge will definitely go ahead.
“The challenge has just got doubly challenging,” said Richard. “It wasn’t part of the plan to have the operation but it’s down to wear and tear and there was some floating bone which, at one point, prevented me from walking.
“If I hadn’t had the operation the knee could have gone and that would have been the challenge over so the doctor said he could do it and I’d have a week to get myself back fit.”
Richard admitted it’s “done his head in” to stop running for a week but he’s determined to make it to the finish line.
“I’m just hoping I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew,” said Richard. “I know I’m mentally strong enough but it’s just whether the knee and legs hold out. I’m just a bit wary now.”
Richard, who coaches at Moldgreen ARLFC, will have plenty of support every step of the way.
His daily runs start at the John Smith’s Stadium on six days with one, the Thursday, from Harvey’s in Fenay Bridge.
Wednesday’s run is for Bev Newton, a stalwart supporter at Newsome Panthers ARLFC, who was diagnosed with MND in 2021.
On Saturday he’ll be running for former Huddersfield Town star Marcus Stewart, who revealed in September 2022 he too had been diagnosed with the condition.
Richard will have as many as 15 or 20 running with him every day and Huddersfield Giants ambassador Eorl Crabtree could also join one of the runs. Runners are charged £10 to take part to swell funds.
So far Richard has raised £16,000 of his £20,000 target. Last October he reached £12,000 when he completed the London Marathon, his first-ever marathon.
Richard has also been boosted by the support of four friends – Matthew Freudenann, Oliver Brodzinski, Craig Williams and Claire Whittaker – who have also pledged to donate what they raise from running the Leeds Marathon to Richard’s fund. That could help smash his target.
Richard’s challenge starts at the John Smith’s Stadium on Monday May 8 at 10am.
Donate to Richard’s JustGiving page HERE