Husband is said to be leading the UK length for a “bright and bubbly” wife who died when the cancer returned

Dave Collett, from Halifax, is planning to walk from Land’s End to John o’Groats to raise money for charity in memory of his wife Deborah, who lost her battle with cancer last year

Dave Collett plans to run from Land's End in Cornwall to John o'Groats in Scotland
Dave Collett plans to run across the country in memory of his wife

A grieving husband has taken on the challenge to run 1,000 miles in ten weeks in memory of his “bright and bubbly” wife, whom he described as a “super teacher”.

Dave Collett plans to walk from Land’s End in Cornwall to John o’Groats in Scotland, giving himself just ten weeks to complete the massive trek.

Starting July 3, he plans to run at least 15 miles a day, he reported YorkshireLive.

Dave, from Shibden, Halifax, has already raised nearly £2,500 for Overgate Hospice in Elland and will be walking in memory of his late wife Deborah, who sadly passed away last year aged 55.

Dave paid an emotional tribute to Deborah, saying: “She was diagnosed with breast cancer again in 2014. She fought valiantly and took every type of chemical or drug they could find to stem the flow, but sadly she lost her battle.

Deborah sadly passed away from breast cancer last year at the age of 55

“She was a school teacher, but she started teaching late. At 40, she earned a first-class degree from the University of Bradford. It was her calling – she was a great teacher. The kids loved them and their colleagues did too.”

Dave described Deborah as “bright, bubbly and full of life” while also being someone who “loved to talk”.

He said: “It was Deborah who got me going. She used to do the Race for Life and she entered me into the London Marathon in 2018 where we raised £12,000 for charity.”

The 59-year-old is now an avid runner, completing the Manchester Marathon last year in an impressive time of three hours and 28 minutes.

“That qualified me for the Boston marathon, which I did in April,” he said.

“It was a fabulous track and I did it in three hours and 45 minutes. I had to teach myself to slow down because I do 15 miles a day on this run. The maximum I will manage is 20.4 kilometers.”

Dave, who joined his local running club, the Northowram Pumas, in 2017, turns 60 on August 5 and plans to run through Halifax on his birthday on his way north.

The father of three has meticulously planned his route and will walk through some of the places he’s always wanted to visit.

“I picked some nice routes,” he said. “I thought I would do a lot more road racing but I will be spending a lot of time on canal banks etc. There are some places there that I wanted to go to. I call it the scenic route!”

Dave will also participate in ten park runs along the way.

The 59-year-old said he hopes to raise as much money as possible for Overgate Hospice as the charity has been helping members of his family and some of his friends through difficult times.

He said: “The first choice was for Deborah to be home when she died and she understood that, but the alternative would have been to go to Overgate. It’s for a good cause.”

Dave will be leaving Land’s End on July 3rd and hopes to reach John o’Groats in the far north of Scotland within ten weeks. You can learn more about Dave’s route or donate to his fundraising page, here.

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