To be Frank: Youngster’s marathon trek raises �400 for Wisbech Rugby Club

RUGBY star Frank Etherington became the youngest person to complete the Leaden Boot Marathon - raising more than �400 for Wisbech Rugby Club in the process.

The gruelling marathon sees challengers walk 26.2 miles with a 5,800ft ascent up Alstonefield in the Peak District. Frank, 11, accompanied by his 45-year-old father Shaun, managed to complete it in nine hours 53 minutes.

Shaun, who has previously completed the Three Peaks and Yorkshire Peaks challenges, said: “I was so relieved when we had finished. It was a really difficult task that was made even harder by the scorching heat.

“In the first half of the climb Frank was doing really well but towards the end he was getting tired and started to get a bit stressed so his head went down.

“But then we caught up with some more people and he powered on to finish in under 10 hours. The time limit is 12 hours but he told me we had to do it in 10!

“He did get a day off of school which he was obviously pleased about, but I think he deserved it. I’m really proud of him.”

Leaden Boot has been running for two years and was introduced after lead was stolen from the roof of St Peter’s Church, in Alstonefield. Participants are charged to participate with the money being split between the church and the town hall.

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The quickest walkers finished the challenge in six hours, while the quickest runner finished in four hours and 41 minutes.

Frank, who has been raising money for Wisbech Rugby Club for the last year, collected more than �400 in sponsorship from the challenge.

The money takes his fund-raising total to more than �1,000, which he wants to use to purchase a drop-down baby changing facility to help families that come to the club’s games with young children.