Whalley schoolboy’s year-long marathon challenge

Toby Birtwistle.
Toby Birtwistle.

While most eight-year-old boys are busy playing games on their Xbox or kicking a ball around with their mates, Toby Birtwistle has other ideas what to do in his spare time.

The Whalley Primary School pupil is gearing himself up to don his trainers and run 26.2 miles - the equivalent of a marathon - every month for a year.

Come rain, hail or shine, the caring eight-year-old will pound the highways and byways of Whalley to complete the personal challenge, which began last month, in bite size chunks to boost funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

The youngster has a target of raising £750.

The challenge is part of the “Every Day Come What May” challenge, which began in 2014 to honour Ribble Valley girl Amelia Dickinson (16), who fights cystic fibrosis every day.

The original challenge was five miles a day for a whole year.

Toby, who lives with his mum and dad Lynsey and Justin, his brother Charlie (11) and six-year-old sister, Freya, is looking forward to the charity mission.

Proud dad, Justin, said: “Toby enjoys running and he also takes part in the Burnley parkrun every week.

“Alongside this he enjoys training with Clayton-le-Moors Harriers and joining mum and me on runs whenever he can fit it in.

“He runs on a Monday night with a Whalley running group called ‘Running 4CF,’ and every September there is a challenge to do something for the whole month, run a mile a day, run a distance over the month whatever you decide. Toby decided to go one step further.

“His challenge is to run the equivalent of a marathon every month for a whole year and he started on September 1st.

“His teachers and friends think it’s a fantastic challenge for a deserving charity. They can’t believe Toby is going to do all that running.”

He added: “We are really proud of Toby.

“It’s good to see that his love for running can help other people.

“We will be helping him all the way. As a family we all love to run and it’s great that we can all support him in his challenge.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor Toby can do so by logging onto https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lynsey-birtwistle4