When Beau gets in from a hard day at school, there’s no slumping on the sofa for this young lad. Instead, he pulls on his trainers, puts on his head torch and pounds the streets as part of an epic 501-day fundraising feat.
No stranger to endurance challenges, last year Beau ran every day in January to raise money for the cancer charity Macmillan. Now he’s decided to go one step further by running every day for 17 months, finishing on May 16, 2019.
He is running at least three miles every day throughout 2018 and beyond. So far, his efforts have raised more than £23,000 for Macmillan.
Beau is being supported by brother Alfie, 13, and his dad, Gary, who has been fundraising for Macmillan in memory of his father since 2003.
In 2017, Gary ran 100 marathons in 100 days, raising more than £103,000.
Inspired by his dad, Beau has run in all sorts of conditions, even 33C heat on holiday in Zante, and through the freezing Beast from the East winter storm. He even took his trainers on a school residential trip to York and was up at 5.45am each day to get his miles in. “What he is doing is so impressive,” says proud Gary. “Originally, he was going to run 365 days but he changed it to 500.
“He says he wants to help people, and if he stops running, then people will stop sponsoring him. We worked it out and 500 days fell on his little sister’s birthday. He didn’t want to take the shine away from her so he decided on 501 instead!”
Beau is so determined to fulfil his charity goal that the first thing he does when he gets in from school is go running with his dad. They follow a cycle path near their home in Cumbria for four to five miles.
Then it’s time for a shower, homework, dinner and finally bed.
“He fits a lot in the day,” says Gary. “You speak to parents and they say, ‘Can’t you take mine with you – I can’t get them off the Xbox!’”
On top of his dedication to his daily challenge, Beau took part in a half marathon in August, raising £1,500 to help a local woman with a rare cancer to receive treatment in America.
“He just has a desire to help people,” says Gary.
His kind-hearted efforts have inspired his community, with lots of people joining him on his laps around local paths and lakeside trails, as well as signing up to sponsored races. “He always runs in his Macmillan vest and puts a smile on everyone’s face,” says Gary.
“I imagine there will be a lot of people joining him on his final day. What he’s doing is incredible. It shows the person he is. He’s not afraid to push himself.
“They have seen me fundraising for Macmillan all their lives and wanted to do something themselves.”