THE New Year brings with it our resolutions for 2016, and one 21-year-old Knaphillian has already signed up to resolve his biggest challenge yet.
Keen athlete and footballer Liam O’Connor, who is currently studying finance and accounts at Portsmouth University, is gearing up to run his first ever full marathon.
But it’s not just any old 26.5 miles; he is one of about 20 fellow students who have signed on the dotted line to take on the challenge in Athens, where the long-distance run originated in 490 BC.
When the Greeks won the Battle of Marathon, largely thanks to the help of the Athenians, messenger Pheidippides legged it 24 miles from the village to Athens to break the news of the glorious victory.
And Liam and his chums’ triumph will mean they will be bringing in vital funds for Worldwide Cancer Research.
Liam told the News & Mail: “It has always been a lifelong goal of mine to complete a marathon while contributing towards an amazing charity, and what better way to do it than in the founding city and for a cause that affects so many of us.”
The former St John the Baptist pupil needs to raise £1,200 to take part in his quest, which takes place in November, and is looking for sponsorship.
Supporters, such as Knaphill Councillor and Sub-Postmaster Saj Hussain, have already made donations, while Liam hopes to raise more by holding local fundraising activities and events – he has already kicked off with a football tournament at Woking Leisure Centre.
If anyone would like to make a donation to Cancer Research or find out more, visit athens16upsu.everydayhero.com/uk/liam.