A SOLIHULL runner has gone the extra mile to help support his son’s best friend, after the teen was paralysed by a stroke earlier this year.
After finishing the gruelling London Marathon nine years ago, Paul Rees had sworn it would take ‘something pretty special’ to get him running again.
But when his son’s best friend Joseph Lockington, aged 15, suffered a devastating spinal stroke in January, leaving him paralysed from the neck down, the 47-year-old decided to pull on his running shoes one last time to raise funds to help.
“It just seemed the right thing to do,” said the Beechwood Park Road resident.
“I wanted to demonstrate that I was thinking of them, as well as raise money for some new equipment. A lot of changes will need to be done on the house and no doubt this will cost a lot of money.
“It’s just that feeling of helplessness and not knowing what to say or do for the best.”
Council worker Paul said he was spurred on to finish the Wolverhampton Marathon, on Sunday September 2, by the cheers of his own family, and Andrew Lockington, Joseph’s father.
“Because I’m getting on a bit now, I didn’t find the first half too bad, but I hit the ‘wall’ at about 14 miles. Most runners hit it after 22.
“But when you’re running for the right cause, you know you have to finish. It was lovely seeing they’d all turned up, it really helped me through.”
Despite finishing the 26 mile slog, Paul said the experience had ‘absolutely not’ inspired him to take up running for fun.
But he was hoping the challenge would raise £5,000 to help Joseph, a Langley School pupil, and his family cope.
To find out how to donate to the cause, call Paul on 07770 273 704.