Wrekin Road Runner’s Jon Aston completed the gruelling 145-mile Grand Union Canal (GUCR) race last weekend. This new definition of the long run was Jon’s way of celebrating his tenth year as a member of Wrekin Road Runners.
Known as ‘Jogging Jon’, this Telford based runner is no stranger to endurance events having run a total of 400 marathons/ultramarathons with his wife. This was his second time at the GUCR after a successful first completion in 2013 to raise funds for several charities.
Jon decided to run this year’s for a cause that he and several members of Wrekin Road Runners feel strongly about assisting severely disabled 11-year old Matthew Cooper who is unable to leave hospital until his home has been specially adapted for his needs.
This Telford youngster was diagnosed with cancerous tumours in his brain and spine and complications from these have resulted in several strokes leaving him paralysed and unable to breathe without the aid of a ventilator. Funds obtained from this and other initiatives will be used to pay for the adaptations, benefitting Matthew and his family as a whole.
Saturday 28 May saw 98 runners on the start line of one of Britain’s toughest races that starts at the Gas Street Basin in Birmingham and finishes in the centre of London. Competitors have a time limit of 45 hours to achieve this formidable task whilst battling sleep deprivation, fatigue and self-doubts.
Jon’s wife Sarah accompanied him for the remaining 72 miles, from Milton Keynes to London and this support helped him to cross the line in a time of 39 hours and 3 minutes. Beating his 2013 time of 42 hours 40 minutes by 3 hours 37 minutes.
Donations can be made at the Matthew Cooper gofundme
Photo courtesy of Jon Aston.