Inspirational fundraiser runs 10 marathons in 10 days to say thank you to Leeds hospice

A superfit Yorkshireman living in Berlin has just completed ten back-to-back marathons to raise money for the Leeds hospice which cared for his mother and brother in their final days.

By Joanna Wardill
Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 6:00 am
Bruce Nicol, on day one of his incredible 10-marathon challenge.
Bruce Nicol, on day one of his incredible 10-marathon challenge.

Bruce Nicol, 58, an architect originally from Woodlesford in Leeds but now living in the German capital, wanted to challenge himself to a major fundraising feat to say thank you to St Gemma's Hospice in Moortown for the care they provided to his loved ones.

His brother Guy Nicol died in October 2014, aged 54 after a 15-month battle with an aggressive brain tumour. Their mother, Trish, who would have been 80 this year, died 11 months later, also of cancer.

Bruce said: "Both spent their last bit of time with us in St Gemma's" which, he said, was run by "wonderful people" with "tireless commitment".

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Bruce Nicol, pictured right, with his late brother Guy.

He added: "They offer all the help, on all levels, to those staying there for the care and attention needed, plus also looking out for those like myself somehow passing through in highly emotional states of mind. I have always thought about trying to do something to give just a little back for that kindness they shared with me and my family in those difficult times."

Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, Bruce was forced to scrap his original challenge of running from London to Leeds via the canal network - a distance of around 440km in nine or 10 days.

Finding himself unable to leave Berlin, he then designed a replacement challenge of covering the same distance by running laps of the Berlin wall, equating to a marathon every day from May 1 to May 10.

By the end of the challenge he estimated he had racked up a total of 450km, spent 65 hours and ten minutes on his feet and burned nearly 32,000 calories - but has so far raised an impressive £4,700 for the hospice.

Bruce Nicol, having completed his epic 10-marathons-in-10-days challenge for St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds.

Admitting it has "not been easy", he said he nevertheless enjoyed the whole event.

"I've never done back to back marathons, so to do 10 successively has been a great learning curve. It’s been a real challenge in every sense. The original plan running 440km along the canal system London to Leeds via Birmingham having to be scrapped, but the alternative following the route of the wall - [in what is] maybe the original isolation city - has proved to be very positively received with many people supporting me along the route.

"Every day many messages of support from around the world. I’ve been amazed by everyone’s generosity with donation as well as positive words and the fun they have brought," he said.

To donate to Bruce's fundraising page visit:

Bruce Nicol, during his impressive 10-marathon challenge. He had to wear a face mask on public transport in Berlin.
Bruce Nicol, during this incredible 10-marathon challenge in Berlin.