An exhausted Rugby father is coming to the end of a mammoth challenge of running more than 2,000 miles in aid of children in war-torn countries.
Jonathan Taylor is preparing for the last event of his nine-month feat – a 35-mile ultra marathon at Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire – tomorrow (Sunday, June 4).
The 41-year-old dad-of-two, of Park Road, will have ran 2,166 miles by Father’s Day – representing the distance between Rugby and Aleppo in Syria.
Jon has raised nearly £1,500 for War Child, a small charity supporting children in war-affected countries like Syria, which he has fond memories of before the conflict.
Having run nearly all of the distance, the Rugby and Northampton Running Club member said he can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
He said: “I’m close enough that I can see the end so I’m confident I can do it. There was a point when I was around 140 miles behind schedule where I thought, ‘How am I going to do this?’ But I managed to claw it back and I can almost relax now.”
Jon has been pushed mentally and physically by the challenge he set himself with little prior running experience.
Some of the miles were put in in the Middle East as Jon travelled to Iraq to work on an archaeological dig, deciphering ancient languages.
The challenge started in September at the Northampton half marathon, and took in the London marathon in April and will end at the Shires and Spires event at Lamport Hall.
“It’s been intense but it’s been a very enjoyable experience,” Jon said.
“I’m very glad I have done it but it’s taken a lot of time and sacrifice, a little bit of soreness after running most days.
“I’ve got a young family and I’ve had to spend more time doing the running when I could be doing other things, but it’s been a real experience for me.”
Jon decided to embark on the challenge as a way to do something to help the millions of children suffering in the Middle East.
“It’s a part of the world I’m very fond of but the utter destruction and devastation of the place means it’s not the place we used to remember,” he said.
“So I thought I had to do something to help, to create a better future for these people.”
With just under three weeks left of his challenge, Jon feels proud of his achievement and the money he has raised.
Jon has been writing a blog throughout his challenge, with lots of updates on his many miles, race times and sights. To read it, visit www.jonathantaylor2000.wordpress.com.
To donate to Jon’s cause, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jonathan-Taylor2000.