Ultra marathon man and avid Burnley fan Scott Cunliffe completes gargantuan RunAway Challenge at Everton's Goodison Park

Dixie Dean's statue outside Goodison Park was the landmark that signified the finish of ultra marathon man Scott Cunliffe's gargantuan RunAway Challenge.

By Dan Black
Saturday, 4th May 2019, 1:04 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th May 2019, 1:16 pm
Scott Cunliffe (centre) reaches his final destination at Goodison Park and brings an end to his RunAway Challenge
Scott Cunliffe (centre) reaches his final destination at Goodison Park and brings an end to his RunAway Challenge

The 45-year-old has covered the equivalent of Turf Moor to Times Square during his intrepid journey, a feat that equates to around 118 marathons.

The milometer tipped towards the 3,100 mile mark as he reached his final destination, just hours prior to Burnley's 2-0 defeat to Everton in the final away fixture of the Premier League campaign.

It's a challenge in itself to find enough superlatives to throw at a spectacularly sterling super human, who has clocked up around 5.6 million steps throughout a challenge that has been the first of its kind.

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"There's definitely a sense of pride," said Scott, speaking to the Burnley Express. " The magnitude of what I've done has started to sink in.

"I'm grateful for all the support I've received from the people of Burnley, fans, businesses, Burnley Football Club, BFC in the Community, the media, they've all been with me from the start.

"It's never been done before so that's something to be proud of. I don't feel like I've run over 3,000 miles physically. It's massive."

Scott has shared Burnley boss Sean Dyche's mantra throughout this whole process. The "Legs, Hearts, Mind" motto that has served the Clarets so well in the top flight has helped the club's most stoic fan in some of his most trying times.

He said: "Running these kind of ultra marathons has been a roller-coaster, that's like living life as a Burnley fan.

"You live your life through the season; there have been some really bitter moments and some really sweet moments, that makes it all worth it. We came good in the end and we can have our 'staying up' party.

"Physically my body has adapted to what I'm doing. I've grown stronger and more resilient to the sort of mileage I've been doing as the season has gone on.

"It's a logical progression but mentally it's been all over the place so that's something I've had to work on. The mind is probably the most important muscle in this whole challenge.

"I've had to work on my mindset a lot. The heart is the purpose of it - raising a lot of money to change people's lives."

It's difficult to comprehend the enormity of such a feat. There's a reason why nobody has ever tried attempting it before.

However, Scott has yet to reach his goal of £38,000. At present, minus Gift Aid, he has raised 61% of his target, just over £23,500.

The money raised from Scott's RunWay Challenge 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 the town.

The other 50% will be divided between the community trusts at each of the Premier League clubs.

"I'm just focussing on the impact we hope to achieve with the money that we've raised and transform other peoples' lives," he said. "My life has been transformed through doing this.

"We're getting towards £25,000 including gift aid now. I would love to see more donations roll in before the window closes at the end of May."

To make a donation to this fantastic cause visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/therunawaychallenge.