Paul Smith is preparing for another extraordinary running challenge – this time making his way around 100 of the region’s War Memorials to raise money for charity.
The 50-year-old Pools fan, whose ‘run streak’ is now quickly closing in on 3,000 days, has regularly made the headlines for his athletic endeavours since he took up running seriously at the start of 2007.
Earlier this year Paul completed an epic run from Newcastle United’s St James’ Park to Victoria Park, via Sunderland’s Stadium of Light and Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium with funds going to The Finlay Cooper Fund and Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
And he’s also completed a staggering 100 laps of the athletics track at Pools’ Maiden Castle training base – an idea he cooked up for the longest day of the year!
His latest challenge will raise money for The British Legion and Help For Heroes, and will begin at Heugh Battery at the Headland in Hartlepool at 11 minutes past midnight on Tuesday morning.
“I decided to start the run on Armistice Day itself and I thought 12.11am would be a good time just to keep the 11 theme going,” he explained.
“It’s also quite a fitting starting point for the run too because the Battery in Hartlepool is where the first German shells of the First World War landed on 16th December 1914, and it was the first place from which Britain returned fire on the enemy.
“I’m not absolutely certain how many miles I will be covering yet but it’s frightening really; I’m guessing it’s going to be somewhere between 80 and 100.
“I lie awake at night and these ideas pop in to my head but this is one I have been thinking about for a while with the Centenary coming up so I’ve been really looking forward to it.”
Paul will make his way from Hartlepool through the collieries and on in to Seaham, and he plans to lay a British Legion cross at each memorial he visits.
“I will probably say a little prayer at each one and then just keep plodding on,” said Paul, who will be running for the 2,872nd consecutive day when he sets off on Tuesday.
“Certain people in my family keep telling me this should be my last challenge but if I can raise money for charity, maybe inspire people and put smiles on faces then that keeps me going.
“The target is to raise £1914 from this challenge which is a fitting figure, but if we can get more than that then I will be delighted obviously.”
uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LordSmythe1908For more information or to sponsor Paul you can visit his charity page at