Teacher takes on 48 mile running challenge for mum-in-law

teacher Kevin McGrath Picture

No wonder primary school teacher Kevin McGrath struggled to stay awake doing his weekend homework!

It involved running four miles every four hours for 48 hours.

A gruelling 48-mile challenge which saw him raise £3,385 in aid of St Ann’s Hospice in Heald Green where his late mother-in-law Tina Burkinshaw was a patient.

Tina, from Urmston, had been ill for some time before she died of ovarian cancer in July 2019, weeks after her 50th birthday.

Tina died just before her daughter Mia married Kevin, a wedding she had helped organise. The care she received inspired Kevin to push his body to the limit by running almost two marathons.

Kevin, from Davyhulme, said: “It was tough and the most difficult part was sleep deprivation. The temperature was down to zero during the night and it took me an average of 31 minutes to run four miles.

“Each time I had a hot shower afterwards and then sat in my pyjamas most of the time waiting for the next run. On the last two, I wore a St Ann’s vest to show our appreciation for Tina’s care.

“My sister’s a nurse so I know it’s not an easy job. People might think a hospice is all doom and gloom but our family didn’t get that sense at all.

“Tina’s husband David, her younger sister Lydia and Mia and myself visited every day and were amazed. Tina herself said we ought to do something as a thank you to St Ann’s if we got chance.”

Kevin’s sponsors included pupils and parents at St Bede’s College where he teaches. He boxes at Bridgewater Amateur Boxing Club and played semi-professional football for clubs including Trafford FC, Mossley and Radcliffe Borough.

Rachel McMillan, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, said: “What an incredible challenge, we can’t thank Kevin enough. We really appreciate his amazing efforts, and also his kind words about the support Tina and other members of their family received at the hospice. I hope he’s had a well-earned rest!

“Huge thanks to everyone who has supported his fundraising too, including the pupils and parents from St Bede’s. As a charity, we rely on the kind support of people like Kevin in our local community to continue providing our specialist care to patients and their loved ones. Every penny really does make a difference to someone’s life.”

* To sponsor Kevin visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Kevin-McGrath5

*To take on your own challenge in St Ann’s 50th birthday year, visit www.sah.org.uk/birthday