Kelbrook man’s ‘13’ challenge for Pendleside Hospice

Graham Denney in training for his 13 races of 13 miles or more for Pendleside Hospice.

Graham Denney in training for his 13 races of 13 miles or more for Pendleside Hospice.

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A KELBROOK man is hoping 13 will prove a lucky number as he completes that number of challenges for a Pendle charity.

Graham Denney, of Quernmore Drive, is running 13 events of 13 miles or more throughout 2013 as he aims to raise £1,313 for Pendleside Hospice.

Graham Denney in training for his 13 races of 13 miles or more for Pendleside Hospice.

Graham Denney in training for his 13 races of 13 miles or more for Pendleside Hospice.

Mr Denney has already completed two challenges in the form of the Great North West and Haweswater half marathons, with finishing times of just over the two hour mark, despite freezing cold temperatures and a muscular injury.

April is his biggest month of the year as he takes part in Sunday’s Blackpool Marathon and the Greater Manchester Marathon on Sunday, April 28th.

Later on in 2013, he will attempt the Loch Ness Marathon and the Great North Run as well as half marathons in Keswick, St Annes and Lancaster, concluding in Conwy in November.

Mr Denney said: “I do a lot of running. I do about 10 half marathons a year. With this year being 2013, I will be doing 13 events to continue the theme.

“I know there’s a lot of charities around. But the hospice is local and I think we all know somebody linked with it in some way. They do an absolutely amazing job.

“It’s going to be a hard month. I ran the Greater Manchester Marathon and the Keswick Half Marathon in the same week last year and it really, really took it out of me.

“I wanted to take it one step further though this year. I’m running both of those again but with another marathon in April.”

On top of the regular runs, however, Mr Denney has tasked himself to undertake three additional challenges which are the Pennine 10K, where he will be joined by his girlfriend Lisa Armstrong and his son Anthony, the Yorkshire Three Peaks and Pendle’s Three Peaks as he tackles Weets Hill, Boulsworth and Pendle Hill itself.

He began pounding the pavements initially in preparation for the Great North Run in 2007 when he was dared to do it by a friend to lose weight. Since then, though, the co-founder of Burnley-based computer company Tektoo Ltd has never looked back and is now a keen runner.

Mr Denney said: “I was just over 20 stone then. I couldn’t even run a mile. But once I’d done that, everything seemed to change, and before I knew it I was running four miles.

“I find it quite relaxing. Once you get the first couple of miles out of the way and your body warmed up, you get into the zone and your body moves easily.”

To sponsor Mr Denney, you can log on to Virgin Money Giving page at www.virginmoneygiving.com/ or go to www.thirteen.me.uk to follow updates on his regular blog.