A 76-year-old Southport man who has completed hundreds of marathons and half marathons is urging people to help him raise vital funds for Southport Lifeboat - by running over 2,000 miles for the charity.
John Curd says he is taking on his epic challenge to help the “brave members who risk their lives to keep us all safe”.
Southport Lifeboat is currently building a new lifeboat base on Marine Drive in Southport, after raising £1.4million from generous members of the public.
Despite lockdown, the service’s volunteers had a busy year last year, carrying out a number of rescues and saving lives along the Southport coast.
With the usual fundraising events unable to take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and with their charity shop on Everton Road in Birkdale closed for much of the past few months, Southport Lifeboat is desperate for fundraising.
John Curd, pictured here running across one of the ornamental bridges at the Botanic Gardens in Churchtown in Southport, said: “At the grand old age of 76 I am continuing to pound the pavements - and bridges! - in order to raise money for charity.
“In total I have done 120 full marathons and 235 half marathons, 35 of which were Great North Runs.
“All of the UK's major running events have been cancelled this year for obvious reasons, so I am doing virtual runs instead.
“This involves running the number of miles that is commensurate with the route that you have chosen online.
“This year I am doing the Route 66 Virtual Challenge, which is 2,280 miles. It will likely take me a good few months to run it.
“I am running in aid of a lifesaving charity that is dear to all of Southport: the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust (Southport Lifeboat).
“The Trust is completely independent of the RNLI and relies on donations to provide a world-class 24-hour rescue service between the River Ribble and the River Mersey. The brave members of the Trust who risk their lives to keep us safe are volunteers and receive no financial remuneration.”
During his career, John worked as a psychiatric nurse at Rainhill and at the Old Liverpool Sefton General Hospital.
He began work as a Junior Clerical worker at Prescot BICC Ltd 1960 before starting with the NHS in 1969.
He enjoyed his student days in Rainhill, at a school which has since been sold off for houses and a golf course.
Nick Porter, from Southport Lifeboat, said: “Fundraising has been really difficult lately with many events being cancelled.
“It is great to see John come up with a novel way of raising money for charity at this difficult time and we are very grateful for his support.”
To donate, visit the website: https://www.facebook.com/john.curd1/posts/10216396816866968
It costs £60,000 to keep Southport Lifeboat functioning all year round. That is no mean task during ordinary times, let alone the extraordinary times we currently find ourselves in.
Southport Lifeboat is funded entirely through public donations, and is independent of the RNLI.
There are other ways you can help the charity continue to save lives, including joining LifeboatLotto or online donations.
For more details about the emergency service, or if you would like to donate, please visit their website: http://www.southport-lifeboat.co.uk/