Dad’s 100km run in aid of disabled youngsters

A dad-of-two is running two and a half marathons all at once in aid of disabled children who visit the PACE centre in Aylesbury.

Mark Clay is head of fundraising at the PACE centre, which has sites in both Coventon Road and Wendover Road in Aylesbury and provides an education for children with sensory motor disorders – namely cerebral palsy.

In honour of the charity’s 25th anniversary this year seasoned runner Mark, his brother-in-law Pete Leonard and friend Luke Martino will tackle Swan’s Way, a long distance bridle route which begins in Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire and ends in Goring-On-Thames in Oxfordshire.

The trio hope to cover the distance in around 12 to 14 hours following a 6am start, lots of breaks and plenty of cake to finish at The Bull in Streatley on Saturday.

Mark, who has been in his role at PACE for a year, said: “The children that come to PACE, life has dealt them a tough hand but they never give up. During the run, I will draw on their inspiration and resiliance at a time when I’m sure I’d much rather sit down and have a cup of tea.”

The 44-year-old is aiming to raise £2,500 - £25 for each child currently supported by PACE.

The charity receives just 60% of the funding it needs from the government to continue functioning, and it needs to raise £1million each year to continue providing the services relied on by so many children.

Mark’s wife Sarah and their daughters Ellen, eight and Rose, six will be following the three men around the countryside in a support vehicle on the day, supplying essentials such as encouragement, plasters and cake.

Mark, who lives with his family in Oxford, said: “We have people doing amazing things for PACE all of the time, but now it’s my turn.”

Visit the trio’s Just Giving page here to donate.