Dedicated Letchworth fundraising runner proud to have raised more than £30,000 for Help for Heroes

Richard Kell after completing his Only Fools & Heroes running trilogy in New York.

Richard Kell after completing his Only Fools & Heroes running trilogy in New York. - Credit: Archant

A dedicated fundraiser who has run himself into the ground for charity over the past six years is proud to have raised more than £30,000 for a cause which is close to his heart.

Richard Kell

Richard Kell - Credit: Archant

Just over six years ago Letchworth man Richard Kell decided to take up running after being inspired by the stories of injured servicemen and women returning from Afghanistan and fighting for their recovery.

It seemed natural to plump for Help for Heroes – a charity which supports people from the armed forces – as the cause which he would sweat for.

A mere 102 races later – all of which have been between marathon-length and 100 miles – and Richard can reflect this Remembrance Sunday on the fact that he has raised £31,648 for armed forces causes.

Never one to shy away from a challenge – or a ridiculous costume – Richard’s journey has seen him running between the sets of EastEnders, Hollyoaks, Emmerdale and Coronation Street as part of a soapathon, as well as running from Peckham to Land’s End dressed as Del-Boy Trotter in a Batman costume – pictured, above left.

But after running more than 1,000 miles – including stretches through thick fog across Saddleworth Moor and on the streets of New York – Richard has decided to put his tireless fundraising on hold, at least for now.

The 44-year-old said: “Finishing any marathon is an achievement, so I’m privileged to have run more than 100 races pretty much injury free.

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“My run from Peckham to Land’s End was full of incident.

“Being stopped by the police twice for pushing a buggy, which was designed to look like a three-wheel yellow Robin Reliant with an inflatable Robin, was a bit odd!

“I’ve learned a lot, but mainly that your body is capable of so much more than your mind often imagines.

“To paraphrase Forrest Gump, I’ve run for six years, two months, 14 days, and 16 hours, I’m pretty tired so I think I’ll go home now.

“I think I need a bit of a rest!

“I want to express my immense gratitude to everyone who has helped and supported me in various ways.

“I couldn’t have achieved any of it without such fantastic backing. Thank you.”

Typically Richard will not be putting his feet up for long, and all the running certainly has not stilted his imagination.

“I’m a passionate supporter of conservation charities so I may don a lion costume for next year’s London Marathon,” he said.

But he added: “I wouldn’t want to do that in the United States, just in case there’s a certain dentist in the crowd!”