John Gartland aka 'Morphman' who is raising funds for ECHO - the official charity of East Cheshire NHS Trust
John Gartland aka 'Morphman' who is raising funds for ECHO - the official charity of East Cheshire NHS Trust
MorphMan John set to run seven marathons in seven days for local health services
29 February 2016

A Macclesfield pub landlord is set to run seven marathons in seven consecutive days to raise funds for local health services.

John Gartland will run between football and rugby clubs across the North West as part of his gruelling challenge, which will see the 34-year-old burn up more than 18,000 calories.  

And as if running seven marathons wasn’t enough it itself, John is completing the 183 miles in a ‘morph’ costume – a superhero-style suit with a full face mask - to make running the marathons harder, as well as to attract attention to his challenge.

John is embarking on his blister—inducing jog in order to raise funds for ECHO – the official charity of East Cheshire NHS Trust, which runs Macclesfield Hospital along with a range of local community health services – and East Cheshire Hospice.

John, landlord of Macclesfield’s Old Millstone pub, plans to set off from Macclesfield Football Club on April 25th and pass the grounds of Manchester United, Manchester City, Stockport, Oldham, Burnley, Accrington Stanley, Blackburn, Preston, Bolton, Wigan and Liverpool football clubs over the next seven days.

He said: “I’m a big football fan – Everton is my team - so I mapped out a route passing all the clubs as I’m hoping it will give me a boost to see them along the way.”

John will then set off for Macclesfield from Warrington Rugby Union Football Club on Sunday, May 1 where he is calling for local runners to join him for the last 5k of his route and make a donation in exchange for taking part.

John said: “The last part of the run will be along Middlewood Way and it would be great if people would join me for the last 5k as I think I’ll need all the support I can get by then!”

John’s campaign has received online support from local digital marketing agency Big Brand Ideas, whose creative director Nick Entwistle directed the video for the NHS Christmas number one, partly in thanks for the treatment he received at Macclesfield Hospital after having a heart attack aged just 26.

John has previously run 38 miles a day for three weeks – 740 miles in 21 days - so is no stranger to long-distance running and is planning to do each of his seven marathons in well under six hours. He wanted to raise money for local health-related causes as his nephew William suffers from epilepsy and has received NHS care numerous times.

John also raised funds for ECHO by taking part in this year’s Macclesfield Pancake Race together with his trainers Alan Davidson of Punchline Gym and Jason Curtis of 5S Fitness.

Any funds raised for ECHO go towards providing the most up-to-date equipment, pioneering treatment and staff development, both at Macclesfield District General Hospital and in other local community healthcare services.

Fiona Doorey, ECHO’s fundraising manager, said: “We are hugely impressed by the challenge John is taking on and very grateful to him for supporting ECHO. We are hoping as many people as possible will get on board and show John some encouragement along the way!”

People can sponsor John via his JustGiving page and find out more details, including the route of his run, from his Facebook page and website.

To register or for more information, please call 01625 661184 or email ecntstaff.comms@nhs.net