A MARATHON man is back in Burnley to run the race of his life.
Lee Cunliffe (39) has clocked up hundreds of competitive miles and is gearing up for both the London and Paris marathons next month.
But the former RAF dog handler says it will be a special day when he gets the chance to run in his home town for the Pennine Lancashire 10K this summer.
The father-of-four is running to raise money for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund which has helped him through enormous personal tragedy.
He said the charity was there for him after his daughter was stillborn in 2001 and his wife died battling cancer in 2006. The fund even helped him find a house for his family in Burnley when he left the RAF in 2007.
Now Lee is ready to give something back to the charity by running the Jane Tomlinson race in Burnley on June 2nd.
He said: “This will be the most amount of running I have ever done. I am running two marathons next month in London and Paris and then it is the Pennine 10K.
“I am also doing the Great North Run and the Yorkshire marathon.”
But he is looking forward to tackling the 10k run around Burnley which takes in some of the town’s best-loved landmarks including Towneley Hall, Turf Moor and Rowley Lake.
He said: “When I saw it was a local run I wanted to do it. It is in Burnley so it will be extra special to get to run in my home town.
“It is a 10k run which is a nice run. It brings the whole thing together.
“Every day I do lots of training runs around the area pounding the pavements unnoticed so it will be great to take part in a big event.”
Lee has set himself a fund-raising target of £1,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
He said: “The RAF benevolent fund has been incredibly supportive of me over the years. I will do anything I can to help them.
“I lost my baby daughter in 2001 – she was stillborn. They helped me pay the funeral costs.
“My late wife died of cancer in 2006 and they helped me with the funeral costs.
“Without them I don’t think I would be where I am today.”
You can help Lee smash his fund-raising target by visiting www.justgiving.com/RAFbenfund