Teenager inspired by Captain Tom Moore smashes NHS fundraising target in 500-mile run

PUBLISHED: 18:00 13 July 2020

Connor Loughlin has raised over double his fundraising target for NHS Charities Together after deciding to run 500 miles. Picture: TRACY LOUGHLIN

Connor Loughlin has raised over double his fundraising target for NHS Charities Together after deciding to run 500 miles. Picture: TRACY LOUGHLIN

Archant

A Fenland teenager was greeted by family, friends, neighbours and teachers as he completed his 500-mile run for NHS Charities.

Connor (inset) was inspired to run 500 miles by Captain Tom Moore (pictured). Picture: PA IMAGES/JOE GIDDENS/TCAConnor (inset) was inspired to run 500 miles by Captain Tom Moore (pictured). Picture: PA IMAGES/JOE GIDDENS/TCA

Thomas Clarkson Academy (TCA) student Connor Loughlin planned to raise £500 for NHS Charities Together when he came up with the idea in April of taking on the charity sprint – the same charity Captain Tom Moore chose.

Connor set himself the challenge of covering a distance near the equivalent running from Wisbech to Dumfries and back. But a foot injury hindered Connor’s efforts and he had to slowly build up from running half-marathons to managing eight to 10 miles a day.

Connor, a year 10 pupil at TCA inspired by Captain Tom’s fundraiser which raised nearly £33 million for the NHS, has since raised over £1,100 and has been flooded with congratulations on social media as he completed the run on Friday, July 10.

“It felt amazing that I had completed it and raised so much money for the NHS,” he said.

Connor Loughlin has raised over double his fundraising target for NHS Charities Together after deciding to run 500 miles. Picture: THOMAS CLARKSON ACADEMYConnor Loughlin has raised over double his fundraising target for NHS Charities Together after deciding to run 500 miles. Picture: THOMAS CLARKSON ACADEMY

“I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to run again! It was a great feeling, especially having people there when I finished.”

Initially, Connor was going to run a mile for every pound donated, but then he decided to make his challenge more ambitious. His mum Tracy, who’s Scottish, suggested the 500-mile challenge to link in with The Proclaimers’ famous 500 miles song.

“There were times when I thought, how long will this take?” he said.

“After I injured my foot, I had to take it really slowly coming back and I could only run three or four miles each time, so I thought it would take ages. It’s quite miraculous that I’ve gone from having a foot injury 10 weeks ago to running a marathon.”

Connor Loughlin has raised over double his fundraising target for NHS Charities Together after deciding to run 500 miles. Here, Connor (right) is presented with a trophy by principal Richard Scott. Picture: THOMAS CLARKSON ACADEMYConnor Loughlin has raised over double his fundraising target for NHS Charities Together after deciding to run 500 miles. Here, Connor (right) is presented with a trophy by principal Richard Scott. Picture: THOMAS CLARKSON ACADEMY

MORE: ‘If he can do it, surely I could’: Teenager inspired by Captain Tom Moore to run 500 miles for NHS charities

ichard Scott, principal at TCA, presented Connor with a trophy and paid tribute to the student’s efforts.

“Connor and his family can be extremely proud of the level of effort he has put in on behalf of his community,” Mr Scott said.

“Connor has seen the sacrifice made by so many, particularly in the NHS, in the fight against this terrible disease and decided to do something about it.

“It says a lot about his strength of character and the kindness he has shown towards his community.”

James Hooper, head of PE at TCA, added: “During this difficult time for our nation, his efforts have helped unite the local community and highlight how important our health service is and what a fantastic job they do for us all.

“We at TCA are very proud of Connor and to celebrate this fantastic achievement with him.”

To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/connor-loughlin.


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