Parkinson disease patient raises the most money to run a mile in this weekend’s Sport Relief Challenge

This year’s Sport Relief Challenge, which will take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 22nd of March, will see thousands of people across the country run, cycle or swim for the fundraiser event.

Howard Bryan, resident in Askham Bryan, is the most sponsored individual in the country running a mile and raised £3,280 exclusively through sponsorship.

Mr. Bryan, father of two, Ross and Louise and who will be celebrating his 70th birthday in April, was diagnosed with Parkinson disease in 2010. Former immigration judge in Bradford, he had to retire in September 2012 when the symptoms of the disease prevented him to work.

In January, his son, Ross Brown, 35 years old who lives in London, successfully completed an ironman marathon in Australia in 10h25mn which sparked his father’s determination to run a mile for the Sport Relief Challenge.

“Today running a mile is hell of an achievement and I hope to encourage other people to keep going.”

Shortly after he announced to family and friends that he will run a mile for Sport Relief, Mr. Bryan raised over £1,000. He then decided to raise £1 per yard he would make, before challenging himself to raise £1 per step he would take, therefore aiming to raise £5,280.

Mr. Bryan hopes to achieve his objective in the week following the race.

York Press: Howard Brown, left, with his dog Ciara, preparing for the Sport Relief Challenge

York Press: Howard Brown, left, with his dog Ciara, preparing for the Sport Relief Challenge

He will be running with Ciara, his golden retriever, who was shot in all the pictures with him and has now aroused curiosity.

“Everyone knows her in the village, she isn’t even two years old and full of youth and exuberance.”

Mr. Bryan has been training with his physiotherapist Dobrinka Ivanov for the past 12 weeks.

He said: “When I told her that I was running the mile for Sport Relief she got right behind me and we are now working on my physique so that I can do it.”

The two of them have been running together every Saturday or Sunday and regular exercises have been added to Mr. Bryan’s physio programme in order to best prepare him for Sunday’s race.

He said the he was very grateful to all the people who sponsored him with a special mention to his wife Jacquie who has been fantastic in supporting him.

Shannon Pickering, the Sainsbury manager of the Fulford store, organised for 30 of her colleagues from Scarborough, Harrogate, Leeds and York to gather on Parliament Street to fundraise for this weekend’s event. The Sainsbury team raised over £500 in an hour and a half.

Also published in The Press here and on page 11 of the paper.
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