A Bedford man has completed an amazing four marathons in three weeks across two continents for charity.
Bedford College’s Mark Lewis completed the Brighton, London, Boston and Stratford upon Avon Marathons between April 6-21 after a conversation in a pub inspired him.
Mark said: “It came from just sitting in a pub conversation having a chat about it and just went from there. Each race had its own challenges. Boston was quite muggy but the reaction from the one million spectators who lined the route was incredible. After the events of last year there was an attitude that ‘you won’t beat us’.
“I ran in Union Jack shorts and lots of people cheered me on saying ‘Go on the Brits!’ - it was fantastic.”
Mark, who ran 105 miles in less than a month in aid of the charity Whizz-Kidz, is hoping to raise over £2,500 for the society which helps provide motorised wheelchairs for disabled children, giving them freedom and independence.
He said:” Each wheelchair will change a child’s life. I was lucky I felt fine after the runs with only a few blisters but a little bit of pain for a few hours is nothing compared to those brave kids who go through so much more - so I was more than happy to do it.”
However, after his marathon efforts Mark has no plans to complete four distances of 26 miles and 385 yards in a month again saying emphatically: “No, I don’t think I will ever do that again. But I have definitely got the marathon bug. I was sitting at home afterwards and I just thought: ‘What shall I do now I don’t have any training to do?
“I will do another marathon next year but I’m in no rush to do four in a month again!”
Mark, who is head of hospitality at Bedford College, is being backed by his students who plan to bake a Snickers cheesecake for their themed menu at a charity fundraising dinner this month to help add to Whizz Kidzs funds.
He said: “I said to my students it’s a shame that Snickers bar’s aren’t called Marathon’s anymore - but none of them remember Snickers bars used to be called Marathons anyway and didn’t know what I was on about - it made me feel very old!” It’s still not too late to sponsor Mark and his amazing efforts. To donate visit www.justgiving.com/Mark-Lewis25