Tomorrow marks a special milestone for Sheffield’s ‘mad man with the pram’ when he completes his 950th race.
John Burkhill, aged 76, from Richmond, who took part in his first race in 1967, is determined to hit his £1 million fundraising target.
He will chalk up his 950th event when he takes part in a 10km race in York tomorrow.
“I’m pushing this pram all over the country. I will get £1 million for Macmillan. I’m just short of half a million now,” he said.
John, who lost his wife to cancer and his daughter who did not recover from an anaesthetic after an operation, said his main inspiration was a little girl with leukaemia.
“I was walking up Barnsley Road. It was snowing very heavily and this car stopped me. Inside was a little girl with her dad and she asked if she could put money in my bucket. You could tell from looking at her that she was very poorly,” he said.
“A couple of yards up the road her dad stopped me and he was sobbing because she had leukaemia. She’s gone now, but whenever I’m having a bad day her face keeps me going.”
John, who wants to complete 1000 races, has been overwhelmed by the support from Sheffield people.
He said: “I went to pride of Britain, I got to carry the Olympic Torch in 2012, and I got nominated to receive the British Empire Medal from the Queen. It’s all because of the people of Sheffield that I go to do all of that.”