120 Marathons completed as Graham Wilson is back in Harrogate, completing his challenge

24 October 2021

On Saturday (23rd October) Graham Wilson completed the last few miles of his 120th marathon, from Harrogate Squash Club, ending at the den on Cambridge Road, Harrogate for a celebration party.

Graham set off on the 26 June 2021, for the epic challenge.

Due to lockdowns, the start had been delayed from 2020, but Graham put that time to good use with additional training.

Harrogate man starts marathon number 1 of 120 for charity

He’s been supported by his loving wife Marion, daughter Becky and dog, Tilly throughout. Tilly has even managed a few marathons with him.

The money is still coming in, but around £42,000 has been raised.

Graham said:

It’s been fantastic, it’s been tiring, there have been long days, but I really really enjoyed it.

We have been to every county in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Isle of white, Anglesey and Northern Ireland. Also we have covered the whole of the South-West coast and Hadrians Wall

There’s been days of the highest-highs and some of the lowest-lows. Some days Marion had to literally be pushed out of the camper van to do the 60,000 steps, but most days you forget all your troubles and away, enjoying it.

During the first 3 or 4 weeks I had blisters on my feet, but managed that. But during the last 10-days the knees have become a problem, most days I had been on my feet for 8 or 9 hours. I guess 6.5million steps has a bit of an impact on the knees.

I couldn’t have done it without my wife Marion, or Maid Marion as she has become to be known, when we went through Sherwood Forsest. She has been brilliant, I couldn’t have done it without her. She made sure we got where we needed to be, all my kit was ready. There were some bumps along the way when I turned up in the wrong place, but overall it has been great.

But then there has been the support from other people, my daughter, and people just coming out, sponsoring the marathons, and just getting involved generally.

Rob Taylor is the owner of the den, and has supported Graham. The den hosted the finish-line party.

Rob Taylor said:

I have been pleased to support the event has it is for so many fantastic causes, and I know Graham.

What he has does has been incredible, and is a fantastic achievement. I can’t comprehend what it was like to get up for last 120 days and then grind-out 26 miles.

Having the mental strength to do what he has done is incredible. I did the Yorkshire three-peaks and checked into the hotel, but couldn’t get out of bed to eat my dinner, so how he has done what he has done is staggering.

When he set the challenge, and got all those charities on board, he was never not going to do it.

The list of charities that are to benefit:

  • Macmillan Cancer Support
  • The Police Treatment Centres
  • Saint Michael’s Hospice
  • Yorkshire Air Ambulance
  • Harrogate Homeless Project
  • British Heart Foundation
  • Living with Cah
  • Tiny Life
  • Harrogate Hospital & Community Charity
  • DSY – Champions of Inclusion
  • Ripon Amateur Operatic Society
  • Harrogate Phoenix Players
  • Harrogate Theatre
  • Settle Victoria Hall
  • Settle Amateur Operatic Society

Sally Anne Blackett is the treasurer for Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) Support Group, and travelled from Birmingham to see Graham finish.

Sally Anne Blackett said:

Graham’s achievement is just so massively impressive, and we are so pleased he picked us as one of his charities.

CAH is a failure of the adrenal gland, and that controls the balance of your salts and sugars within your body. It controls your growth when younger, but also your stress response. Not stress-worried, but response to illnesses. With the medication available it is a real balancing act – if you have too much it stunts growth, but too much means you reach puberty early.

Around 1 in 10,000 have the condition, and up until the 1950s there was no treatment, and people just died, so it is still new in dealing with the condition. One of the things that we are working on is a consistency of approach across regions in how it is treated.

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