An ambulance paramedic is taking on one of the toughest marathons in the country in order to raise money for TASC, The Ambulance Staff Charity.

Simon Butterworth, who is a paramedic and a Clinical Manager with Yorkshire Ambulance Service, is taking on the Wooler Trail Marathon in Northumberland later this year.

The Wooler Trail Marathon, which starts and ends in the Northumberland town of Wooler, has a total ascent of more than 6,000 feet but also covers a race distance of 28.5 miles – more than two miles longer than the traditional 26.2 mile course. The highest point on the course is The Cheviot at 2,674 feet. And, to make the event even more daunting, the marathon passes across the moors between England and Scotland on November 19 when the weather is expected to be extremely cold.

Simon, aged 40, from Shildon in County Durham, who is Clinical Manager for North Yorkshire, said he was raising money for TASC because of the charity’s support for ambulance service staff.

He said:

“One reason for raising money for TASC is because they are independent of any individual health trust, which is important, because some colleagues may find it difficult to come to our own occupational health teams if they need help or support. But I’m also running the Wooler marathon to raise the profile of TASC and the work that it does, so more people know the charity is there to support ambulance staff.”

Simon, who is married to a nurse, Lesley, and has two sons, has worked for the ambulance service since 2002. He added:

“Wooler has a half and a full marathon and I did the half last year and really enjoyed it. So I decided to sign up for the full marathon the day after race entries opened online.

“Three years ago I did a 10 mile run, which was the Yorkshire Warrior obstacle race, and raised several hundred pounds for the Ambulance Service Benevolent Fund. So I decided to do this for charity as well, but the ASBF doesn’t exist anymore, hence I’m running it for TASC. Before the Wooler marathon I’ve got the Great North Run in September and the Kielder Marathon in October, but Wooler is the hardest of the lot. It takes place very close to winter, so I could be running in snow and ice or rain and mud, or more likely all of them. I will be building my mileage up month by month, adding a couple of miles each month to build up my endurance.”

Simon said he was doing the Great North Run and the Kielder Marathon, which is also in Northumberland, “for me”. He explained:

“I am a member of my local running club, the Shildon Running and Athletics Club, so I am representing the club at those events, but I’m doing the Wooler Trail Marathon for charity. So I urge everyone to please pledge what they can. It all adds up and will be gratefully received by TASC.”

To make a pledge to support Simon please visit his fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simonbutterworth
For more information about the Wooler Trail Marathon please visit: http://www.trailoutlaws.com/wooler.php

For more information about TASC The Ambulance Staff Charity, please visit www.theasc.org.uk or call 02477 987922

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