A West Bridgford father of two is gearing up for his first full marathon after only starting to run 18 months ago.
Richard Litchfield, 41, got the running bug after meeting his fiancé Nicola who was a keen runner. Having not tackled even a 5k jog before, he threw himself into training and quickly became a regular member of one of Nottingham’s parkruns, meeting regularly to run 5k at Rushcliffe Country Park.
Richard, who works as IT Director at leading independent logistics operator Europa Worldwide Group which has a branch in West Bridgford, will be taking on the Robin Hood Marathon at the end of September to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Europa is this year celebrating its 50th anniversary and as part of the landmark year the business’s Managing Director Andrew Baxter launched a fundraising initiative company-wide called 50:50, which will see the business fund match money its employees raise for charity to the tune of £500 per person and £25,000 in total.
Richard said: “I only started running 18 months ago and now I’m about to take on a marathon – it’s a huge challenge but one that I am actually really looking forward to.
“Having built up my fitness with the regular parkruns, I’ve now completed three half marathons including the Robin Hood half last year and have got up to 30k in my training. My goal is to complete the full marathon in four and a half hours so fingers crossed I do!”
Richard proposed to his fiancé Nicola at one of the Rushcliffe Country Park parkruns earlier this year, showing how important the running community has become in his life.
He added: “Running gives me a great buzz and it has massively improved my fitness. I’ve lost weight, I feel full of energy and I really enjoy the sense of community that comes from running in a group.
“It’s great that Europa is going to match fund the money I raise through sponsorship too. I’ve already raised £1,300 for Cancer Research so the additional £500 from Europa will boost that total even further.
“I’m looking forward to the marathon but also can’t wait to cross the finish line. It might be the first marathon of many for me!”
Managing Director at Europa Worldwide Group Andrew Baxter added: “So many of our staff have taken on gargantuan challenges in aid of our 50:50 charity push and Richard’s marathon is one of the most impressive. Running a marathon takes mental and physical strength and given that Richard only started running less than two years ago, his achievement when he crosses the finish line will be all the more impressive. We wish him the best of luck on the day.”