Leeds man sets 2016 mile target in year of charity runs

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A LEEDS man dusted the cobwebs off an unused pair of trainers as he set himself an extra special challenge in his quest to raise money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

Steve Irving 37, from Yeadon, aims to run 2,016 miles in 2016 and is confident of hitting his target – assuming his rather ancient running shoes can go the distance.

Runners at the Corn Exchange in the 2016  Jane Tomlinson Run for All Leeds 10k.  Picture: Tony Johnson

Runners at the Corn Exchange in the 2016 Jane Tomlinson Run for All Leeds 10k. Picture: Tony Johnson

Steve is clocking off the miles in a 10-year-old pair of trainers that until 2013 had lain largely unused in a cupboard at his home.

Since he dug them out, Steve has completed more than 30 events, including Asda Foundation 10Ks in Hull, Leeds, Burnley, Lincoln and Nottingham, and Plusnet half marathons in Leeds and Sheffield.

Steve, who thinks he has ground out about 1,500 miles in his well-worn trainers, said: “It’s fair to say my running shoes are not exactly state of the art but they are comfy and are just about getting me through the miles OK.

“I’m looking forward to the Yorkshire Marathon. Hopefully the shoes will hold up.”

Jane Tomlinson CBE raised £1.85m for children’s and cancer charities before her untimely death from cancer aged just 43 in 2007.

She made headlines across the world by competing in a series of epic endurance challenges from the London Marathon, ironman and triathlon competitions, to a 4,200 mile cycle ride across the width of the USA – despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.

The Jane Tomlinson Appeal to date has raised almost £8m for mainly children’s and cancer causes. Appeal Event Manager Holli Kellett said: “Steve’s determined to complete the 2,016 miles for us this year – even if that means finishing it in a pair of trainers that have frankly seen better days.

Thanks to the efforts of Steve – and our very loyal band of fundraisers – we can continue Jane’s legacy and her wish to support children’s and cancer charities.”

To sponsor Steve, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Stephen-Irving2016miles

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