Ex-Ripon Grammar student completes 48 marathons in 48 days


Aug 26, 2021
Photo of John Clark running
Man on a mission - John Clark

Former Ripon Grammar School student John Clark has completed a remarkable feat of endurance by finishing 48 marathons in 48 days in 48 English counties.

In doing so, he has so far raised almost £38,000 for children in food poverty. He aims to achieve £48,000 and donations can still be made through www.JustGiving.com/campaign/484848

Mr Clark’s own family struggled to survive on benefits after his father suffered life-changing injuries in a work accident.

His mighty marathon venture, which amounted to 1,248 miles, finished in Worcester.

John Clark during his school days at Ripon Grammar.

The 34-year-old, who left Ripon Grammar in 2003, said:

“The challenge was even more physically and mentally demanding as I expected but the support of so many people kept me moving forwards.

“From injuries, to blisters, to extreme wet weather conditions and heatwaves there were new and interesting challenges almost daily but each day, 26.2 miles got finished regardless.

“The 48/48/48 wasn’t just about raising funding but also raising awareness.

“Throughout the challenge so many conversations were had, radio, television airtime given and newspaper columns written about the crisis this country faces and the 48. It felt like we were genuinely making a difference.

“It was about planting seeds around the country with the ambassadors, runners and schools that support the project and our hope is that those that ran with me will go on to create their own Miles4Meals events in the future to continue the financial support and awareness raising that our nations foodbanks and charities need.”

Mr Clark, who has competed in international strongman events and now owns a chain of gyms, set up the charity Miles4Meals to help families facing the same issues that he did as a child.

His life changed when his father Alan, a roofer, broke his back and shattered his foot in a fall after scaffolding collapsed.

Mr Clark added:

“I understand the difficulties families face and the hard choices that need to be made with minimal budgets available for basic living expenses.

“I hope to make a difference, so others don’t have to experience the same as I did.”

The coronavirus pandemic has increased problems faced by families across the UK with an estimated 8.4 million people living in food poverty.

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