An Essex man is stepping up to the challenge of a lifetime as he tackles two marathons in the space of just two weeks, all to raise funds for Hft.

32 year old Richard Rowe is running the Brighton Marathon on 14 April and is taking on the London Marathon two weeks later on 28 April. The branch manager for a local builders merchant will be running 52 miles over the course of the two weekends and is hoping for an ambitious time of 3 hours 30 minutes per marathon.

The experienced runner has previously run the London Marathon in 2016 and 2017, as well as successfully completing the Manchester Marathon and other runs all around the country. To prepare for the mammoth task ahead, Richard is following a strict training plan which involves him running 40 miles a week, including at least one ten mile run. After training for over six months, fitness fanatic Richard has recently stepped up his preparations, and now runs 20 miles from his workplace in North West London, all the way home to Hornchurch in Essex.

Richard is hoping to raise £1,750 to be donated to Hft, which offers person-centred learning disability services ranging from residential care to supported employment and supported living at home – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Richard has been collecting donations from colleagues and customers at work and is even considering a fundraising event.

Richard said:

“Hft is a hugely important organisation and I’m proud to be doing my bit to raise awareness for adults with learning disabilities. Hft does a fantastic job of providing anything from supported living to days out for some of the most vulnerable people in society. I have some great memories from running the London Marathon for Hft in 2016 and genuinely consider it to be an honour to be raising money for them again this year.

“I’ve always liked a challenge and this is my biggest one yet. When I first told my family they told me I was crazy, but they’re now fully behind me and have even planned their cheering points along the routes.”

Charlotte Rue is Hft’s Sporting and Challenge Events Manager. She said:

“We’re so pleased that people like Richard are taking on huge challenges like the London Marathon and Brighton Marathon. Their support and fundraising efforts mean that we can help more adults with learning disabilities live the best life possible.”

To make a donation, please visit Richard’s fundraising page.

If you have an idea for a fundraising activity you might like to take on, please email hello@hft.org.uk for more info on how we can support you.

Notes to editors

For further information please call our media enquiries line on 0117 906 1697.

About Hft

Hft is a national charity supporting more than 2,900 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centred support across all its services.

Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.

For more information about Hft, please visit www.hft.org.uk

Information about learning disabilities

A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently

For more information about learning disabilities, please visit www.hft.org.uk/resources-and-guidance