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Marathon man launches shack-attack for charity

15 August 2014

MISSION DIRECT

FOR most of us, running one marathon for charity would be enough. But not for David Hall (above). The 50-year-old chartered accountant has just set off on an even tougher fund-raising challenge - 40 marathons in 40 days, running between John o' Groats and Land's End.

Mr Hall will be taking with him a replica of a shack from the Sierra Leone slum, for which he is fund-raising, to sleep in each night.

His plan was "completely crazy", he said, but "the support we have had from churches has been fantastic. We have got opportunities to speak at churches all over the route."

His run is in aid of Home Leone, a newly established charity working to build permanent homes for people living in a slum in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. About £50,000 is currently pledged, which, Mr Hall said, already exceeded his expectations.

Nigel Hyde, the founder of Home Leone and a friend of Mr Hall, is hoping that donations to the "Man in a Shack" challenge will total more than £200,000 by the time that Mr Hall reaches Land's End in September. That would be enough to build up to 50 houses. The land for construction in Freetown is already secured.

Mr Hall visited Sierra Leone in June, seeing an area which an EU report concluded needed at least 230,000 new homes. "The situation over there is desperate, and has been for some time," he said.

Although a veteran of 12 London Marathons, and more than 130 in total over the past 15 years, Mr Hall said that he was worried about the scale of his journey. "I'm very nervous about it, to be honest - it's a massive challenge," he said. He is already training, and runs for about 90 minutes daily.

He has no regrets, however, over committing to the 40 marathons. "It's about time I moved on from competitive running, and this challenge would be a wonderful way to use something I have had a great deal of pleasure from for a good purpose."

www.maninashack.com

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