‘After this is done, we know we did something together’ - Former mixed martial artist aims to make his mark in fight against coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 18:18 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:18 21 April 2020

Charlie Day (right) and girlfriend Emma decided to launch their #MYmile fundraiser to help the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: CHARLIE DAY

Charlie Day (right) and girlfriend Emma decided to launch their #MYmile fundraiser to help the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: CHARLIE DAY

Archant

A former mixed martial artist from Wisbech is calling on residents to get their exercise gear on and make a difference to help raise vital funds for NHS workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Charlie Day launched the Our Marathon fundraiser, to allow those who prepared for the London Marathon due to happen this Sunday (April 26) but postponed because of the outbreak to still make the most of their time.

As part of the fundraiser, participants are asked to complete a mile of any exercise such as walking or running, plus a £1 donation and one share on social media, before nominating 25 other people to complete ‘#OURmarathon’.

“My birthday was on April 1. We did not have any family visiting or nothing, and it gave me time to think,” Charlie, who now works in property maintenance, said.

“I decided maybe I could do something. I saw what was going on, and it dawned on me that the London Marathon, one of the most iconic and charitable events of the year, was postponed and I thought ‘what can we do to unite people?’

Charlie Day won bronze at the MMA World Championships in 2014. Picture: D LOWRY-ODIN PHOTOGRAPHYCharlie Day won bronze at the MMA World Championships in 2014. Picture: D LOWRY-ODIN PHOTOGRAPHY

“Through no fault of their own, that has been taken away from them, so I thought they could still do something on that day.”

Encouraged by his girlfriend Emma to create the fundraiser, Charlie, who won bronze at the MMA World Championships in 2014, plans to donate half of the funds to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn and some to his friend who is producing personal protective equipment, including face shields.

Charlie is expecting to cover the full distance and having completed the Norwich half-marathon last year, he is looking to go above and beyond his initial £1,000 target.

“I was going to do the one mile myself, but on the day, I will complete a full marathon in my garden and in my house. I am going to go the extra mile,” Charlie said.

“The feedback that I have had, it has made me feel elated, motivated and want to do whatever I can. No matter what it takes, I will get it done.

“When I saw Captain Tom Moore, it made me so happy – the guy has changed the world twice!

“I feel so hungry and motivated. I have not felt like this since I competed in the MMA Championships.

“I always think big and we can exceed the target. Whatever we get, we will do the best with it. If we can reach the masses, that can turn out to be a lot of money.

“I would like to inspire other people to be motivated and to do whatever they can. After this is all done, we want to stand there and know that we did something together.”

For more information on the fundraiser and to donate, visit Charlie’s GoFundMe page here.

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