Marathon man visits school and encourages children to get out and run

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

THE RUNNING  Man, who is on a mission to get children up from off the sofa and more active, visited Abermule County Primary School.

Jim Plunkett-Cole who is also referred to as Jim Gump because of one of his running  challenges, has been running every day since the London Olympics in 2012.

What started as a challenge to get himself into physical shape has now turned into a mission in the UK and USA to combat child obesity.

He currently has two challenges, to run 30,000 miles over a seven year period, doing at least 10 kilometres (6miles) a day and the Jim Gump challenge.

This is to follow in the footsteps of Forest Gump, made famous by a Hollywood film and run 19,000 miles criss-crossing the USA over three years.

Jim, said: “I have two more years of running and hopefully I will have achieved my targets and also spoken to over 100,000 children in schools here and in the USA.

“I enjoy telling tales of things I’ve seen and done on my runs.

“Such as a kingfisher who followed me for a few miles and a heron which dropped fish in front of me as I ran.”

Jim explained: “It started after the London Olympics.

“I was watching it and thinking what could I do?

“Then I set myself a challenge.

“To run 10km every day for a year.

“As I got to the end of the year, I was getting faster and stronger.”

In 2015, he changed the challenge to one of a triathlon and swam 750m, cycled 40km and ran 10k for a whole years 365 days, 365 triathlons!

Then Jim decided to start visiting the school and encourage youngsters to get active.

Jim said: “Child obesity is a problem, and by visiting schools and sharing my expereinces, it will insure children to be more active,”

“I hope to return to Abermule in the future and set them all the challenge of doing more physical excercise outdoors.

When asked if he ever thought it would be nice to just have one day of rest, Jim answered with an anecdote from his time running in the USA.

“I went out running in a blizzard while I was in Boston.

“I just ran, and in the middle of nowhere you had a Fox News TV team out filming the snow.

“They’d just said on air that they’d not seen anyone for hours, everyone should stay indoors and then I come in to shot.  

“They interviewed me asking me what I was doing out running in such bad weather. I get very focussed on what I do.”

Sorrel Sevier  is a parent at Abermule and invited Jim to talk to the children there.

Sorrel said: “I heard him speak on radio and I thought it would be a great idea to get him  here.

“Anything to encourage them to get active and away from the laptops and tablet is brilliant.

“He was a really good speaker, and has inspired the children, families and children at the school to be more active.” 

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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