AS a way of giving something back to a place which helped save his son’s life, Tyneside dad Ivan Hollingsworth is embarking on an 100 mile run, which will start in Eyemouth tomorrow, Good Friday.
While most of us will be enjoying some time off, Ivan will aim to complete the mammoth task in just 24 hours in aid of the Children’s Heart Unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital- a cause which means an awful lot to his family.
Ivan’s and wife Nadine’s baby son, Seb was born in January 2009 with a congenital heart defect. Without the pioneering surgery he received at the Freeman Hospital four months later, he would not have survived.
Since 2009, Ivan and Nadine, with the help of many others, have raised more than £175,000 for CHUF. They have achieved this through a variety of different means: charity balls, fundraising stunts and endurance challenges but Ivan’s 100 mile mission tops them all.
Addressing the challenge that awaits him, Ivan said: Ivan said: “I understand that the 100 mile Easter run represents not only the hardest physical challenge I have ever taken on, but also the most demanding psychologically and emotionally. However let me assure you of one thing; I will finish it! The reason I will finish it is because of Seb and all the other heart children.
“The pain I will endure during the training and the run itself are insignificant when compared to what Seb suffered after his surgery.
“So when things get tough and I feel like I can’t go on; I will remember the long hours when Seb lay in Intensive Care, with more tubes and wires than seem possible for one so small.
“I will remember the six hours when Nadine and I had to distract ourselves whilst he was on the operating table, and I will remember the day that we thought we might lose him.
“Then I will put my head down, wipe away the tears and carry on; because it is all I can do.”
To ensure his legs are protected throughout his run, Ivan will follow in the footsteps of Sport Relief superhero John Bishop by using Kinesio Taping to support his muscles and joints.
His route, which will see him leave Eyemouth at 10am tomorrow will take in Berwick (at approximately 1pm) Fenwick, Belford and Seahouses and finish in Tynemouth, hopefully at 10.30am on Saturday.