A Shropshire man confined to a wheelchair has successfully completed five marathons in five days – raising more than £3,000 for a local charity in the process.
Craig Nicholson, 40, from Craven Arms, completed the 137 miles between Eastbourne and Poole with two friends, also in wheelchairs, and one on a bike in aid of CasCA – Community Arts Sports Craven Arms – an arm of the charity The Furniture Scheme.
He chose his local charity because it gives youngsters in the town the opportunity to play sports, receive coaching and give them the chance to take part in free activities.
“It went very well and the people along the route were absolutely marvellous. They came out with offers of free food and drink and we even had a lorry driver pay for one of our meals,” he said.
“The weather was very hot and one of our lads got a touch of sunstroke early on but he rallied and we all completed the challenge five days and five marathons later on Sandbanks Beach, Poole.
“Paul Gascoigne was there at the beach and we all had our photograph taken with him. So that was special.
“My aim was to raise about £2,500. All the money isn’t in yet but it looks like we will be over the £3,000 mark. I’m pleased with that because CasCA is something very close to my heart.”
Craig was joined on the gruelling challenge by Scott Smith and Glenn Leversage, also in wheelchairs, and Paul Rogers who completed the journey on a bicycle. Craig’s wife Cheryl was also an integral part of the support team.
“It proved a little hairy early on as we tackled the hilly section between Eastbourne and Brighton. One of the lads was coming down a hill in his chair very quickly – about 50km an hour – and was trying to slow himself down. He burnt his hands and got a few blisters. But he was ok,” added Craig.
“I’ve done a lot of things for charity but never five marathons in five days. But it was sound. A great experience and I would certainly think about doing it again. It’s a funny thing but I really missed it when we stopped doing it.”
Jean Jarvis MBE, CEO of The Furniture Scheme, which manages CasCA, said: “This was a truly amazing achievement by Craig, Scott and Glen, who I know have some great supporters. We’ve followed their progressed and are absolutely thrilled that Craig has chosen to raise funds for CasCA, we can’t thank him enough!.”