TO celebrate turning 60, a determined charity supporter ran 60km in two days in 12 parkruns to raise money for a bereaved children’s charity.

John Francksen, Cotswold Tyndale Rotary Club senior vice president and event director at Chipping Sodbury Parkrun undertook the challenge of running 12 Parkruns back-to-back in 11 destinations over one weekend to raise money for Cheltenham based charity Winston’s Wish for bereaved children as their message is close to his heart.

Having lost a parent of is own as a child, John knows first hand the trauma bereaved children face. When club president Tina Lewis-Knight announced Winston’s Wish as the charity the Rotary would support in 2021, John decided to do something to help raise money for the cause.

“I decided to join my love on Parkrun with my love n long distance running in a bid to raise some money for this fantastic charity,” said John, who turned 60 in July.

John, a business development manager was supported by friends and his wife, Tracey,as he crossed the 12 Parkrun finish lines including Chipping Wotton, Pomphrey hill, Eastville, Ashton Court and Little Stoke in day one - followed by Cirencester, Tetbury, Stroud, Stonehouse, Thornbury and Berkeley in day two.

The determined runner, who lives in Charfield, was finally welcomed back to Sodbury for his final 5kmwith a bbq that helped push his sponsor money over £2000.

John has run for over 20 years and is a member of the Hogweek Trotters.

“The main issue I encounter as the weather- it became a big concern and it wasn’t something I had initially anticipated,” John said, after the area saw temperature soar on the weekend.

“We made the sensible decision to do seven of the runs on the Saturday and five on the Sunday and it was a relief to get back to Sodbury an enjoy the bbq at the end,” he added.

The welcoming committee at the BBQ helped to push the target over the £2000 mark by selling tickets and playing game including guess the number of steps to complete the 60km.

John added: “It proved a lot more difficult than I thought it would be because of the condition.

The distance took me a total of 519 minutes to complete and I took over 93,000 steps, so I will be recovering for a while but as a club we certainly have more projects in the pipeline. I would like to finally to say a thank you to everyone who supported me including the Chipping Sodbury Town Trust who continue to let us use their land at The Ridings.”