A RUNNER from Kenton who broke an unofficial record of 105 marathons in 105 days is to run non-stop for 24 hours to raise money for the Japanese earthquake appeal.
Neil O'Maonaigh-Lennon, of Rowland Avenue, taught English in the Far Eastern country for a year in 2008 and was fearful that ex pat friends had been caught up in the deadly disaster and subsequent tsunami last week.
He has decided to generate cash for the British Red Cross via a sponsored 24 hour-long run which will see him spend a whole day from 12noon on Saturday March 26, completing as many laps as possible of Centenary Park Sports Club's playing field in Centenary Park, Culver Grove, Stanmore, where his brother is manager.
The 30-year-old said: “When I saw the devastation on television, I couldn't believe what I was seeing but thankfully, through Facebook, everybody has been able to keep in touch with everyone else.
“In Saitama, north of Toyko, where I taught, people are scared because of the earthquake and constant aftershocks which happen for days after, and everyone is concerned about radiation levels from Fukushima nuclear power plant.
“I thought at the time aid would be really needed in the northern prefectures and I thought I would do something about it.
“I only came up with the idea for a 24-hour run on Monday and managed to put the wheels in motion quickly for the event next Sunday.”
Mr O'Maonaigh-Lennon hopes to raise £1,000 for charity after hearing ex-colleagues who still work at the same language school chain had survived the earthquake.
He said: “I'm going to do the laps of just over a kilometre in bunch of fives and then take a short water break and I'll have breakfast, lunch and dinner as normal although during the night I'll run on my own as there are houses around the park and we don't want to disturb them.”
Mr O'Maonaigh-Lennon grabbed headlines in December for unofficially doubling the Guinness world record of 52 marathons in 52 days, having spent four months pounding Britain's coastal roads and arriving back in Brighton to a hero's welcome.
“Having done the marathon challenge last year, I think there's still a little bit of conditioning left in the muscles so I'm very confident I can achieve the equivalent distance of two marathons although I'm going to push it as hard as I can,” he said.
“I'm going to create a Facebook event page and spread the word. Anyone's welcome to come along during the daytime and run with me.”