Jack, 16, ends 2020 in style with marathon fundraiser for MIND

Jack Bartle running through Wymondham on a marathon fundraiser.

Jack Bartle running a marathon for Mind in Wymondham. - Credit: Kathryn Cross

A determined teenager who wanted to “end the year well” has done that in style by completing his first marathon run on the roads around his south Norfolk home.

Despite icy conditions and temperatures hovering around freezing, 16-year-old Jack Bartle ran the 26.2 miles on New Year’s Eve for mental health charity, MIND.

He set off from his home in Spooner Row at 10am, accompanied by dad Andrew on a bicycle, and supported by friends, and pounded the roads to Attleborough, Wymondham and Hethersett and back home in a very impressive time of 3 hours, 19 minutes, 23 seconds .

Jack Bartle holds up a blue t-shirt with the MIND logo on it.

Jack Bartle celebrates after completing his marathon fundraiser for mental health charity, MIND. - Credit: Kathryn Cross

The Wymondham College sixth former decided to raise money for the charity after seeing the struggles many people were facing during the coronavirus pandemic. He set a £300 target and by the start of his run had nearly doubled it.

He said: “I wanted to support a charity that is relatable considering this past year. A lot of family members have struggled during lockdown so I wanted to do something to end the year well.”

While Jack has been no stranger to running, his preferred distance previously has been 5k, and said the step up to the longer distance had been tough. He gave himself just seven weeks to train but on the day he felt strong for the whole run.

Jack Bartle running alongside his dad, Andrew, on a bicycle.

Jack Bartle in full flow, supported by his dad, Andrew, who took to two wheels. - Credit: Kathryn Cross

He said: “I had done a couple of 10k but that was it, so I thought why not try and do a marathon?

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“Luckily I have a treadmill in the garage so I could run after school when it was too dark to go out on the roads. I would save the long runs out for weekends and the holidays.”

He has also been able to train with running club Mid Wymondham Athletics and said he aims to keep running longer distances.

Mum Heidi was even caught out by Jack’s blistering pace while driving to checkpoints with his sister, Charlotte.

She said the whole family was “extremely proud” of him.

“He planned it all himself, on his own initiative, organising the route and his training programme," she said.

"He is very determined, he goes out running in all weathers. He’s just been amazing.”

To donate to the fundraiser click here.

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