Man takes on marathon in aid of hospice

Tony Dagnall
Tony Dagnall

A man has taken on a marathon to raise money for a hospice.

Tony Dagnall, 60, joined thousands to take part in the New York marathon and raised more than £500 for Willowbrook Hospice.

Tony, from Billinge, only started running in 2013 after setting himself a “bucket list” target of running a 10k.

Since then he has run twelve 10ks, seven half marathons and the Manchester marathon.

Tony said: “I originally began running as a way to keep fit but found it really motivational to set myself challenges and the greater the distance you run, the further you want to run.

“Having watched my son Stuart take part in the New York marathion in 2013 I thought I’d try for a place myself.

“In March this year, I found out I had got a place through the ballot and decided to use the opportunity to raise funds for Willowbrook Hospice.

“Several of my friends and family have had cancer so I realise how vital places like Willowbrook are in providing care and support for local people dealing with life limiting illnesses.

“It is not until you need these services that you understand how valuable they are.”

Tony completed the marathon, which started on Staten Island and runs through the neighbourhoods of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, before ending in Manhattan, in just under four hours and raised £565.

He said: “Running in the New York marathon was an amazing experience that I will never forget - imagine being cheered for 26 miles by an estimated one million people.

“The blisters and the black toenails are temporary but the memories will be permanent.

“It was a privilege to raise money for such a worthwhile local organisation and I would like to thank everyone that supported me.”

The hospice costs more than £4m per year to run but only a third of the running costs are provided by the NHS with the rest needing to be raised through donations and fund-raising events.

Nicola Saunders, Willowbrook’s fund-raising manager, said: “We are so grateful to Tony for taking on the marathon in aid of Willowbrook. He did fantastically well, both in finishing the course in such a brilliant time, but also in his fund-raising efforts.

“All the money raised will go towards caring and supporting local people living with life-limiting illnesses such as cancer.”