Manchester dad gives up work to run epic challenge around 92 football grounds
Nathan Richardson, ex-soldier and dedicated runner has given up work as a mechanical engineer to take on the epic challenge of running consecutively to every single one of the 92 football grounds in all four divisions of the English Football League, totalling thousands of miles!
Nathan, a 28-year-old father of one, from Greater Manchester will start his huge challenge on 7th March 2020 at Old Trafford, aiming to encourage other local runners, walkers and supporters to join him on his first run to the football ground.
Nathan will run between every ground with all his kit on his back. He estimates that he will cover approximately 50-100 miles a week. With a total distance covered to be in the region of 2,000-2,500 miles. Nathan aims to complete this huge challenge within six months.
Nathan also plans to help the environment by incorporating ‘Plogging’ into his runs. Plogging is simply running with a plastic bag and gloves whilst picking up rubbish as you go! Nathan will pick up litter around the grounds and surrounding areas as he runs.
All money raised during Nathan’s ambitious challenge will go to support The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity and MIND. Two charities that are very close to his heart.
Surprisingly, Nathan is a relative novice runner, completing his first marathon in April 2019.
Nathan said: “After the loss of two close family members I was feeling down depressed and unhappy with my weight. I found running was a great escape and a positive activity that helped my body and also my mental health. After a few organised runs I decided to create my own challenge; ‘Run Around The Grounds’, this combines two of my favourite things – running and football!
With this challenge I want to test myself mentally and physically, but the main aim is to raise money for charity and to get people involved, raising awareness of mental health issues and help break the stigma of talking about your mental health.
Physical exercise can really help so much with mental health and I want to spread that message. No matter how low someone goes there is always a way back and if I can help just one person realise that then this whole thing will be a success.”
Dawn Fidler, CEO of The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity said: “Nathan is such an incredible guy – we are delighted he has chosen the SuperJosh Charity to benefit from this amazing challenge. His determination and attitude to succeed will see him smash his goals of running to all 92 grounds. We look forward to seeing his progress and supporting his journey every step of the way.”
A Mind spokesperson said: “In any given year, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem. That’s around 16 million people in the UK. Mental health problems can affect anyone: family members, friends or colleagues, yet hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to access the help they need. We wish Nathan all the best for his challenge.”
Nathan hopes to raise in excess of £9,000 during the six months. To show your support and donate go to Virgin Money Giving.
The first run will be taking place at Old Trafford at 11am on 7th March the time is subject to change depending on the kick off for the Manchester Derby, people are invited to come along to the first run which will be 4.5 miles to the Etihad and can join in with Plogging if they wish. Meet at the statue of Sir Matt Busby at 10.45am to leave at 11.00am for the run to Etihad.