A Retford runner is embarking on the challenge of a lifetime to raise money for a battling local child.
Dale ‘Ronnie’ Staton, 31, who works as a fitness instructor at OutKlass Fitness in East Drayton, is attempting to run from St Bees on the west coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on the east - a journey of around 200 miles - without stopping.
Ronnie has completed a number of 100 mile events in the past, but the coast to coast run will be his biggest challenge yet.
He said: “It is not a realistic goal – I have no right to even attempt it.”
“But it’s not about me anymore, it’s about William - he’s the real focus that will pull me along when I feel I am down and out.”
“I’m only an average runner, but I’ve put 10 months of my life into this and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”
William Stones, now aged four, suffered a cardiac arrest when one year old, and spent six months in hospital unable to do anything except lie in his hospital bed.
He suffers from cerebral palsy as a result, but thanks to specialist therapy sessions William regained control of his head, learned to sit up, and can now walk short distances with the aid of a special frame.
William’s dad Dave said: “It’s hard to put into words what Ronnie’s doing - put simply, it is the grandest, biggest gesture anyone has ever done for us.”
“The challenge is colossal, and for Ronnie – someone I don’t know that well – to take basically a year out of his life to do this is just amazing.”
Ronnie sets off at 7am on 25th July, aims to run the route in around 60 hours, and raise £20,000 for William.