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Running Man Nears The Finishing Line

30 April 2019

With the London Marathon last weekend still fresh in the mind, here’s a thought; imagine running 118 of them over the course of a football season!

Step forward Clarets fan Scott Cunliffe, who will achieve that feat once he arrives at Goodison Park for Burnley’s final away day of the season this coming Friday.
 
Scott set himself the challenge of running to each of Burnley’s Premier League games on the road; a gruelling 3,090-mile trek, with the finishing line finally in sight on Merseyside.
 
And now all thoughts turn to securing the £38,000 in charity donations that Scott hopes will help transform people’s lives.
 
 
He said: “It’s been quite an emotional time, and certainly on the last run (to Chelsea) I had realisations that I was close to achieving my goal. 
 
“I’m just relieved that I never got injured, and that I haven’t lost my love of running, or of following Burnley away. 
 
 
“But also, there’s an excitement now of what comes next in terms of the fund-raising and seeing that come to fruition and some of the projects coming to life. 
 
“That’s something to really look forward to, but above all that is a sense of pride, for sure. 
“I’ve had so much support from people and businesses and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
 
Scott’s challenge was borne out of a love for Burnley FC and setting himself a challenge to test body and mind.
 
 
After suffering from mental health problems, he took a year’s hiatus from work commitments to fully focus on the mammoth fund-raising, which will be split, with 50% going to Burnley FC in the Community to distribute to local projects, and the other half split evenly among the foundations of all Premier League clubs.
 
“I saw a lot of other people doing challenges that tested their bodies and minds and Burnley getting in to Europe was an inspiration,” added Scott. 
 
“I felt if they can over-achieve, I could too, by putting my mind to something that seemed impossible back at the start of the season.
 
Other people around me have also inspired me by overcoming everyday challenges, so inspiration is never far away if you look for it, and it’s been a really positive experience. 
 
 
“I still have to take a deep breath when I look at the distances involved, and to remain injury free throughout the equivalent of 118 marathons is something I am really proud of. 
 
“To get through that intact is an achievement, I guess, and now I have to think what’s next.
 
“Initially, I want to focus on the impact of the funding and hopefully transform lives. We’ll keep the window open until the end of May, then we can look at hopefully reaching £38,000, which is a figure we came up with because that’s the average attendance in the Premier League. 
 
“We thought if we could get the equivalent of a full stadium, each to give £1 each, we’d get there. Hopefully, with one more push, we can do that.”
 
Fans can help Scott reach his fund-raising target by heading to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/therunawaychallenge
 
Follow Scott on Twitter @sekott

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