BU would like to congratulate Sports Development student, Joshua Weller for completing his 496-day challenge to raise money for Lupus UK in memory of his Granny, Sheila Weller.
Joshua set himself the goal of running 5km every day for 496 days, starting on 19 January 2019 and ending with a 49.6km run on 29 May 2020. He took part in the challenge whilst on placement at the Sevenoaks School in Kent and has shared his progress daily on social media & Strava throughout the experience.
On completion he had run a total of 2,920.2km over a period of 230 hours and 6 minutes, raising £6,958.60 for his charity, Lupus UK – a tremendous achievement.
“Lupus is an incurable immune system illness, probably genetic in origin and mainly suffered by females. Lupus can produce many symptoms and family doctors often fail to recognise it. The disease principally affects the kidneys and the skin, but may also affect the heart, lungs and brain. In my Granny's case I remember bringing back factor 50 sun cream, which she was required to wear all year round.” Joshua told us.
“My Granny Weller, a sufferer of Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), since 1986 sadly passed away in 2014. The 496 days are to celebrate my Granny living at 496 London Road for 78 years, meaning that I finished my almighty challenge on the 29th May 2020, on her 86th birthday.”
“It challenged me mentally and physically, testing my determination, resilience, motivation and tested my body to deal with stress each day for 496 days in a row. Having time to look back and reflect I have learnt a lot about myself, especially from running through two winters. There were a couple of weeks this year where I would go out for my run, and everyday I’d come back soaked from the sideways rain and being battered by the strong winds.”
“The final day created a new challenge for me, not only was it an ultra-marathon, but it was 24 degrees, no clouds, and it was a distance I had never ran before. I'd managed to get a pretty good sleep the night before, which I didn't believe I would, and managed to get up at 5:55am ready to fuel and hydrate. Many people also volunteered to join me (social distanced) throughout this run.”
“I got to 49.6Km in 4 hours 46 minutes 33 seconds, which I am extremely proud of. I will never forget any of that run, it is a memory that I will have with me for life, especially the final challenging 10k - if I could get through that mentally and physically I can do anything I set my mind and body to.”
Although the challenge is now complete Joshua isn’t stopping there; he is running in the next London Marathon and has already raised a further £5,560 for his cause. You can read more about his story on his JustGiving page.
Congratulations Joshua for your amazing achievement, and best of luck with your London Marathon run later in the year.
Joshua wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone that followed his journey on social media, sent messages of support or donated to Lupus UK. He also gives his thanks to his family for their motivation and support along the way – especially his parents, David and Allison Weller and his sister Megan who is also a BU Alumni.