New PB keeps Rich on track

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Some people bake cakes, some throw themselves out of aeroplanes, and others take on marathons to raise money for charity.

But Richard Hayes has decided to run 13 official 10k races in 2013 - to raise £2,013 for the NSPCC.

Last week’s Sheffield Festival Athletics, which was held at the Don Valley Stadium for the final time after a 20-year stint at the venue, marked Richard’s fifth race of the challenge as he took park in the Lord Mayor’s 10k.

But not only has Richard set himself the target of completing all 13 races this year, he has made the task more difficult by vowing to set a personal best every time he does so.

Having started running only last year, Richard, aged 31, from Stocksbridge, Sheffield, has lost five stone in weight to get himself in shape.

And so far he is on track to achieve his goal, having completed the Lord Mayor’s 10k 11 seconds faster than his previous best in a time of 47 minutes and 16 seconds.

Richard said: “For me it was a hard race due to the pressure I put on myself but I now head into four races outside of Sheffield which are all flat, so it is a case now of getting down to some hard training to get the PBs.”

His sixth race will be Jane Tomlinson’s Run for All 10k race in Hull on Sunday, May 19 - and he has so far raised just under £1,300.

“The NSPCC is a charity that I have a lot time for and with my new found love of running I wanted to do something that is different and will get people talking,” he said.

“This will hopefully raise a nice total for the charity and raise awareness at the same time.”

Before the start of the race, Richard was introduced to the Lord Mayor of Sheffield by the new president of the Sheffield Branch of the NSPCC, Julie Kenny.

She said: “Those of us who either can’t physically take up such a challenge or haven’t got the time to train can support Richard and the NSPCC by sponsoring him.

“He is an example to us all.”

Claire Reading, NSPCC community fundraising manager, said: “I would like to thank Richard for undertaking this amazing physical challenge for the NSPCC and wish him luck in completing his ‘13 in 13’ events.”