Bedfordshire electrician Ricky Byrne is running this year’s London marathon for the National Autistic Society boosted by raising more than £3,000 for the charity.
Ricky – whose motivation is fuelled by having two of his children on the autistic spectrum – took up running only two years ago after finding himself unfit and suffering with ‘reoccurring nightmares’ where he would wake up with his heart pounding and covered in sweat.
“My reoccurring nightmares were of me being chased and attacked, I couldn’t get away. It felt like it was a sign,” he wrote on his justgiving page.
After starting training at a newly opened gym, he kept up his fitness and entered a number of races including the XRunner Wild Mud Run in Derby, the Zombies and Run! Spring 2016 Virtual Race.
He wrote: “The race was originally set to run over a couple of weeks but they extended it by a further week, during this time I ran 10K three times and 5K five times. I have been using Zombies, Run! App for several months now and have clocked up over 150 miles since.”
Ricky’s sights are now firmly set on the London Marathon although he has applied to appear in the next series of Bear Grylls The Island.
“Challenges don’t get any bigger than this do they?” he said, adding: “I owe a huge thanks to my kids, Frankie, Ronnie, Joycie, Mark and Lisa of Elite Physique Training gym. You have all supported me when I’ve felt down, injured and unmotivated.”
According to local paper, The Comet, numerous backers have come out with donations including Susan Wheatcroft of fundraising site, Virtual Runner, who has put in £1,300, and North East Beds MP Alistair Burt, who wrote to Ricky to commend him on his efforts.
To donate to Ricky’s cause, visit justgiving.com/RickyByrne.