One Burnley fan went that extra mile to see his beloved Clarets kick-off their Premier League season away to Southampton – 269 miles to be exact.
Scott Cunliffe set off running for the game at St Mary’s following Burnley’s Europa League victory over Aberdeen on Thursday, August 9th.
It took nine days to complete the journey and marked the first leg of an incredible challenge that will see the Worsthorne 44-year-old run from Turf Moor to every Premier League stadium this season.
“It went exceedingly well. It felt good to achieve my goal and I definitely learned a lot. During the second day I felt a strain in my right knee which meant I couldn’t run as quick.
"By Day 4 it was still there but was not getting any worse so I felt more comfortable. Then remarkably when I woke up on Day 7 it had gone.
“I ate well, my energy levels were good and the weather helped. It was sunny the first couple of days but got cloudier the further south I went, which made it easier.
“Although I’ve done ultra-marathons before this was the first time I have ever dome something back to back so on the second day I really was going into the unknown.”
Scott ran more than 50km five of the days, a full marathon one day and two 30km distances the other two days.
“I arrived at St Mary’s on Saturday, the day before the game. It was a bit muted really because there was nobody there but on the way I stopped off at the Saints Foundation to see what work they do there.
“The staff were incredibly nice and welcoming and I played football with some of the partially blind and deaf children there. I got some stick for being in my Burnley shirt but it was all a good laugh.
“I’d also like to say ‘thank you’ to Boundary Clarets who are giving me lifts home from every game. The coach actually broke down around 20 miles outside Southampton so we didn’t get home until 2am. We got back safely though and that’s the most important thing.”
With a mere five days rest under his belt, Scott sets off running for Fulham on Friday expecting to complete this 200-mile leg in eight days.
“I actually feel really good. I went for a 10km jog yesterday and the body feels ok. I do have a christening to go to in Burnley on the Sunday which I’m not missing. So I’m hoping to get to Derbyshire by Saturday night, come back to Burnley, go to the christening and maybe the game, then get back to where I stopped and I start running from there.”
All the money Scott raises will go to Burnley FC in the Community, the official charity of Burnley FC.
They will then distribute 50% of the funds raised to local charities in Burnley while the other 50% will be divided between the community trusts at each of the other Premier League clubs or charities nominated by those trusts .
For more information, visit www.therunawaychallenge.org or email Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org. Scott’s fundraising page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/therunawaychallenge.
People wanting to donate by text can do so now. Text AWAY19 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070 to donate to RunAway.