A GARSTANG firefighter is to embark on a new challenge running his first marathon in memory of a much loved colleague
The acting watch manager at Garstang Fire Station Chris Horner, who is known as Jack, will swap his uniform for running gear to take part in the RunLiverpool Marathon.
Dad-of-three Jack, who lives in Scorton, will run the gruelling 26.2 mile route down each side of the River Mersey on October 9 alongside friends and colleagues Phil Cray (from Scorton), Dave Jordan (from Lancaster) and Paul Gardner, who works with Jack at Springfield’s.
The runners are to raise cash in tribute of fellow firefighter Graham Egan,who served alongside Jack with the Springfield’s Fuel fire and rescue service in Preston.
Graham, 49, died in December just seven months after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
Sponsorship cash will also be collected for the Firefighters charity.
Jack said: “They are two good causes and it’s something as a team we wanted to do in Graham’s name.
“I got back into running after taking a fitness test at work and realising I needed to start training.
“I’ve gradually been increasing in speed and competed in a half-marathon in Blackpool, so the thought was if I can do a half marathon I may as well do a full one.”
Graham’s wife, Claire, and his daughter, Molly, have been working with the Motor Neurone Disease Association to raise awareness of the devastating condition, which attacks the body’s nerve cells.
She said:“I am sure there are some people out there that do not have the care and support Graham had. This dreadful disease strips a person of their life as it was and dignity, and the care they need is 24/7.”
Jack added: “We are running up to 50 miles a week now. It’s hard work, but I’m hoping it’s going to pay off.”
To support the team, visit http://www.justgiving.com/Chris-Jack-Horner, sponsorship pledges can also be made at Croston Road newsagents or The Barn, Scorton.
l A charity car wash in aid of the firefighters’ charity will be held this Saturday, September 17. It will be “open for business” from 9am to 1pm at Garstang Fire Station on Green Lane East.