A CHARITY fundraiser who has raised more than £500,000 for good causes is preparing for two gruelling challenges in the next two years.
Derek Brown, 50, is set to run the London Marathon on Sunday, April 22, in an eye-catching costume.
In tribute to Masham brewery Black Sheep, who are supporting his efforts, Derek will be tackling the 26 mile course dressed in a woolly black sheep outfit.
And with the Paralympics on the horizon Derek, who grew up and went to school in Ripon and now lives in Leeds, has chosen to support an organisation for disabled children.
Get Kids Going works with children with disabilities to help them into sport, and money raised from Derek’s marathon run – his 11th time round the London course – will help fund equipment for young disabled athletes.
Derek, who is hearing impaired, has fused toes and suffers from curvature of the spine, has been raising money for charity since he was only 12 years old, and in the last 13 years has raised more than £560,000 pounds for good causes.
After a difficult childhood, he said he has set out to make sure other children have opportunities.
After tackling the London Marathon Derek’s thoughts will shift to his next challenge - a 1,853 walk around the UK from Leeds to John O’Groats, to Lands End and back to Leeds.
He will be the first person to ever complete a round trip from Leeds to both ends of Great Britain, and hopes to make it into the Guinness Book of Records with the feat.
The walk, which Derek is calling The Ultimate, will raise money for four charities – Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, Get Kids Going, Variety – a children’s charity which helped Derek when he was a pupil at a school for deaf children, and Children with Cancer UK.