Ex-strongman champion's marathon bid to tackle food poverty
- Credit: Facebook/John Clark Coaching
A former strongman champion is coming to Cambridgeshire as part of a gruelling marathon challenge in his bid to ease the stigma of child food poverty.
John Clark is running through part of the county tomorrow (Thursday) as he bids to run 48 marathons in 48 counties over 48 days, a challenge he started on July 5.
“We thought we could do this to help raise awareness, to try and remove the stigma of food banks and to raise money to help those that require a food bank,” he said.
John was crowned Britain’s Natural Strongest Man in 2015 and 2016, and runs a personal training firm as well as different coaching companies.
He has already raised over £10,000 for Miles4Meals, a charity John founded, and the Trussell Trust which runs food banks across the UK.
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“I used to be a professional strongman and lost 85 kilogrammes to be able to do this, so this is something very different,” he said.
“We’re adapting, trying to take things slow knowing we have another 30 or so marathons to run, so we don’t want to end ourselves early.
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“We are running in torrential downpours, then a heatwave, so it’s something we cannot control but hopefully the weather will calm down.”
John, who will be running 26.2 miles in and around Wisbech, decided to take on the trek after his family struggled with food poverty when he was growing up.
“I experienced food poverty when I was younger; my dad was paralysed, my mother was his carer and we lived off benefits, so we relied on government support,” John said.
“I’ve experienced it and understand the situation a lot of people find themselves in.”
Whatever John raises, he will split the final total between Miles4Meals and the Trussell Trust as he looks to complete each marathon in “between five and seven hours”.
And by raising awareness of food poverty, John hopes he can help his chosen charities continue their work in supporting families who need it most.
“It’s brilliant to see people in the community come out and have conversations on how predominant food poverty is,” he added.
“A lot of food banks are struggling to keep up with demand, so the hope is they don’t turn people away and make sure they have enough food for those that need it.”
To donate, visit John’s fundraising page at: https://bit.ly/36NIszR.