A brave civil servant is taking on the challenge of a lifetime - running from Land’s End to John O’Groats dressed as Forrest Gump!
Ewan Gordon, who lives in Langford Village, will take on the 1,050 mile challenge in May and June, after being inspired by his friend Thomas Laurie, who died last year aged nine.
Thomas suffered from cockayne syndrome, a rare premature aging disease which is known to affect just 100 youngsters in the UK.
And Ewan, who knows Thomas, his parents Catherine and Richard and his sister Ellie from the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Bicester, knew he had to do something to help other sufferers.
So far alter server Ewan, 42, has already taken on five marathons, and will run races including the London, Manchester, Loch Ness, Chester and Snowdon marathons this year.
But his greatest challenge so far is the six week Land’s End to John O’Groats run during which he will complete the equivalent of a marathon a day.
He said: “Thomas was full of fun, since doing this fundraising I have met lots of kids with cockayne syndrome and they all only know how to love.
“There is no cure, so at the moment my plan is to run the length of the country making as many people aware of this condition as possible.
“My route is a little bit different, I’m trying to avoid as many roads as possible as I don’t want to die, so I’m taking a lot of national trail paths. It’s going to add an extra 250 miles onto my route.”
Ewan was inspired to adopt his wacky outfit for the trial after a friend said they would sponsor more money if he did.
He has been growing his beard and hair to look like the Tom Hanks character, who famously ran across America in the Oscar winning film.
He said: “I’m going to get my hair dyed on Monday so I will look full Gump by the time I do the run, I’ve already had lots of beeps from cars as I’ve been training and people shouting ‘run Forrest’ run’.
“I’m raising money for four charities, three of which were Thomas’ funeral charities and I hope that people will show their support by making a donation.”
The money raised will go to Helen and Douglas House, Lifelights, ROSY and Amy and Friends, which supports children with the condition.
Thomas’ mum Catherine said: “Ewan has been great in supporting us since Thomas was sick.
“Although him doing the run as Forrest Gump is great it has got serious side too, he is supporting the charities that supported us and we are so happy that he is carrying on Thomas’ legacy in a positive way.
“Tom was very much a life is for living type of person, so I think he would be very amused by Ewan’s transformation. We couldn’t be prouder of him for taking on this challenge in Tom’s memory.
“Over the last couple of years Ewan has encouraged lots of people to raise money for the charities, and it astounds me that something as terrible as Tom’s sickness and death has produced something so positive.”
To sponsor Ewan on his epic journey visit his Running For Thomas Laurie Facebook page, or visit www.forthomaslaurie.org.uk to find out more.