Ripon man to run four ultra-marathons in memory of father
Last updated Oct 26, 2023
Harry with his dad. His brother Freddie is also pictured.

A Ripon man will run 224 kilometres in November in memory of his father.

Former Ripon Grammar School pupil Harry Cleary, 25, will aim to complete four ultra-marathons, which are each 56km.

The first three will be in London and the fourth and final leg will begin in Ilkley and end inside Elland Road Stadium — which he described as “a lifelong dream for a Leeds United fan”.

Mr Cleary’s father died this year after a long-term struggle with alcoholism and mental health.

Harry said:

“As a young man, watching the male figurehead in your life pass away as a shell of the man he once was, is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I’m determined that won’t happen to me.

“My dad was a very proud man who struggled to accept and discuss his emotions, and instead, leaned on the vices of life.

“The distance represents the 56 years of my dad’s turbulent, but incredibly impactful life.”

Harry Cleary, pictured at the front, taking part in a race.

Following his father’s death, Mr Cleary took up running as a coping mechanism and found it has been “invaluable” to his own mental health.

“As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety for several years, I have sought these physical outlets as healthy coping mechanisms.

“I want to show men the importance of talking and asking for help if they need it.”

He is raising money for men’s mental health charity Movember and has set a target of £5,000.

The charity hosts an annual event which involves growing a moustache for the month of November. It aims to raise awareness and de-stigmatise male health issues, including suicide, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

It won’t be the first time Mr Cleary has punished his body for the charity. Over the last three years, he has walked from the Scottish border to Newcastle in 32 hours and walked the 140km-length of Hadrian’s Wall — both on no sleep.

He added:

“I think about my dad every day, and I hope he’ll be looking down with pride as I complete these ultra-marathons to stop men like him dying far too young.

“I know I’ll be completing all my ultra-marathons with my dad.

“We’re marching on together, dad.”

Mr Cleary’s London runs will take place on Saturday, November 4, 11 and 18, and his Yorkshire leg will be on Sunday, November 26.

He told the Stray Ferret anyone is welcome to run with him and those interested should contact him on Facebook.

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