Six marathons in six days

Tom Hacker running for cancer

A devoted son is running six marathons in six days in honour of his mother who died of cancer.

Having only taken up long-distance running a year ago, Tom Hacker, 26, of Wakefield, is halfway through his marathon challenge.

Since his mother Sue died from cancer Mr Hacker has become a prolific charity fundraiser.

He said: “I’m so thankful to my mother for how she brought me up and I’m glad to be raising so much money in her memory.

“The first couple of marathons went really well and I’m well ahead of schedule.”

Mr Hacker began his challenge on Monday (AUG 11) when he ran 31 miles between Liverpool and Pendlebury. Then on Tuesday he ran 35 miles from Pendlebury to Cleckheaton fire station.

Yesterday he ran between Cleckheaton and Thorpe Park Hotel, near Leeds. Today (AUG 14) he is running between Thorpe Park and Howden town centre. Tomorrow he will tackle the route between Howden and Hull boating lake before taking on the final leg, between Hull boating lake and Easington on Saturday.

When Mr Hacker was 13 years old his mother fell ill.

After a short illness the family was given the devastating diagnosis that cancer had spread from her stomach through her internal organs.

On Valentines Day 2001, aged 45 years, his mother lost her fight at the family home with her husband by her side.

Mr Hacker, a transport planner, said: “Hundreds of people attended her funeral. Her favourite flowers – sunflowers – were everywhere. I remember it all like it was only yesterday.

“There was a lot of negative energy when it happened. I wanted to use that negative energy in a positive way.

“My life was on a knife point in those days. I feel like it could have went one of two extreme ways. Thankfully I have used the experience positively. I’ve been able to change my life and other people’s lives.”

In 2007 he raised £30,000 by walking from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 28 days. He cycled the same route in six days in 2011.

This year Mr Hacker decided to do another event – a daunting challenge designed to raise as much money as possible for Macmillan Cancer Support.

He said: “I decided that running would be the biggest challenge for me and would be a great way of raising money.”

The challenge, to run six marathons in six days, would take him a gruelling 165 miles across the country, from the Liverpool docks to Spurn Point on the North Sea coast.

Having never run long distance before, Mr Hacker did not even own a pair of running shoes before he began training in September 2013.

He said: “I have trained for over 600 hours. I’ve lost 18lb in weight and my body and lifestyle have both completely changed.

“I ran up to 70 miles a week. I cycled to and from work and regularly and attended a variety of different classes to prepare my body.”

Mr Hacker said his first marathon on Monday went better than expected.

He said: “It was fantastic. I did nine miles more than a marathon’s official 26 miles because I felt so good.”

Speaking before his third day of marathons Mr hacker said: “On Tuesday it felt even better than it did on Monday.”

Mr Hacker is being joined on the journey by a support team which is made up of friends and his girlfriend, Amy Sharp, 28.

He was preparing to do the whole six marathon challenge alone but because so many people have got on board he has only run 18 miles alone.

He said: “It has been so much more enjoyable. I’ve had people running or cycling alongside me almost the entire time.”

Mr Hacker has already met his goal of raising £20,000 but he hopes to continue to raise as much money as possible.

To sponsor Mr Hacker go to his Just Giving page at: www.justgiving.com/Tom-Hacker1 or follow his journey on www.6marathons6days.co.uk.

More pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or tom@medavia.co.uk.

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