Young Charlie Slack, from Leicestershire, has not missed one day and on Thursday (3 December) he’ll be joined by fellow pupils from Gaddesby Primary School in Leicestershire as he completes his 300th mile – and all for charity.
Charlie, who fought back from meningitis as a baby, has been raising funds for us and two other charities - Young Minds and Alex’s Wish. He set out to raise £2 per day, totalling £560, but he is now at an amazing 431% above target, having reached £2,400.
It’s hoped the TV cameras will be at the finishing line on Thursday to see Charlie complete that day’s run, but that won’t be the end of his ongoing fundraising and running marathon. The determined youngster is rallying local communities to come and run with him as he finishes his 320th mile on Christmas Eve. There will be an appropriately seasonal finish at 10am at the Royal Oak car park in Main St, Cossington, Leicestershire with carols and mince pies.
Come wind, rain or lockdown
Charlie’s mum Alex told us: “Come wind, rain or lockdown tiers Charlie has been determined to get outside and run a mile every day since the first lockdown as he was compelled to take action during the most uncertain time of everyone’s lives.
“Charlie began raising money for a charity very close to his heart, Meningitis Now. Charlie contracted meningitis as a baby and nearly lost his life to the disease, but it was with the help of Leicester General NeoNatal Unit that he survived.”
Since the first lockdown in March, Charlie has run 298 miles, with the support of his family by his side every single day - his younger sister Kitty, mum Alex and dad Tim Slack.
As the months passed over the year, Charlie and his family added two more charities alongside Meningitis Now; Young Minds and Alex’s Wish, a local charity which is finding a cure for Duchenne.
Touched by generosity
Alex added: “We have been really touched by everyone’s generosity and support. We didn’t realise how demanding it would be on all of us as a family to commit to this challenge, especially in the winter months and as he started back at school.
“He has had days when he has been sick, dropped a chair on his toe, lost a nail and sprained his ankle. but he still went out to complete his mile. Friends have joined in throughout the year and we have taken the Covid mile everywhere, including on holiday to Wales, Portugal and Polzeath Beach, where he ran his 250th mile.
“His determination and mindset is astonishing to see for such a young boy and we are so proud of him as parents.”
Wonderfully uplifting achievement
Tom Nutt, chief executive at Meningitis Now, said: “What a wonderfully uplifting achievement from a remarkable young boy. Thank you so much to Charlie and everyone who has supported him and the family on this challenge.
“As a charity that receives no Government funding we rely entirely on the generosity, energy and initiative of our supporters to raise the vital funds we need to carry out our lifesaving and life-changing work.
“Charlie’s efforts will make a real difference to those who are at risk from meningitis and those whose lives have already been changed forever because of it.”
Support Charlie’s Covid Mile by sponsoring him at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AlexSlack3.
If you have an Instagram account, you can catch up with Charlie's progress through Instagram Stories.