A Burnley fitness fanatic is taking on the challenge of a lifetime as he attempts to raise £10,000 for charity by running from Turf Moor to every Premier League stadium during the course of the upcoming season.
Having already tackled several ultra-marathons, Worsthorne’s Scott Cunliffe (44) is a champion of the power of sport to promote positive health and well-being and aims to spread this message to the entire football family with his extraordinary challenge.
In total, the former St Theodore’s pupil will run approximately 3,000 miles during the season – the equivalent of running from Turf Moor to Moscow and back.
“I wanted to set myself a big challenge that combined my love of away days with my passion for running and for my hometown of Burnley. From this, the idea for RunAway took shape. Over the course of the season, RunAway will incorporate 19 ultra-marathons, equating to 3,000 miles of running.
“Starting with the first away game at Southampton, I’ll set off from Turf Moor just after the Aberdeen game on August 2nd, giving myself 10 days to make it to the St Mary’s Stadium. It’s not the easiest start but I’m ready for the challenge!
“I’m doing this because I know, from personal experience, how running is a powerful tool to achieve positive mental and physical wellbeing.
“I spent two decades working for charities in parts of Southeast Asia that were seriously affected by violent crime and poverty. My experiences left me with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression – running was a major part of my therapy in overcoming this. I want to use that experience to benefit others and I think football is the perfect way to unite people in this cause.”
Scott’s shortest run of the season will be to Huddersfield on New Year’s Day when he will be running just over 26 miles. His longest trip takes him to Bournemouth on April 6th - a staggering 237 miles.
While raising money for charity is central to his challenge, Scott also wants he is doing to act as a catalyst for others to get up, go outside and get some exercise.
“I want people of all ages, young and old, to get some exercise. Anybody and everybody is welcome to join me for any part of the runs. People can run, jump on their bikes, get on their horses; whatever they want. They don’t have to do the full run, just come and join me for however long they want.
“All the money I raise will go to Burnley FC in the Community, the official charity of Burnley FC. They will then distribute 50% of the funds raised by the RunAway challenge to local charities in Burnley. The other 50% will be divided between the community trusts at each of the Premier League clubs I’ll be running to or charities nominated by those trusts . This way, I hope the challenge will leave its mark on communities across the country – not just here in Burnley.”
There are a number of ways to support Scott in his mammoth challenge from fundraising and business support to joining Scott for one of his runs.
For more information, visit www.therunawaychallenge.org or email Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help get Scott’s fundraising up and running, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/therunawaychallenge