IT may not be everybody’s idea of the perfect summer getaway, but father-of-four Mike Haslam is preparing to run an incredible 630 miles in just over a fortnight.
Mike, a vicar from North Petherton, is running the length of the South West Coast Path, from Minehead to Poole via Land’s End, in 16 days – starting on Thursday, August 14.
Mike, who is a chaplain at Taunton Academy, will be taking on the challenge for Christian Aid.
He has already carried out a number of challenges for the international aid and development charity, including climbing mountains and jumping out of a plane.
For his latest adventure, he will be running the equivalent of 1.72 marathons each day, and he will be joined for part of the run by friend Steve Bratt, also from North Petherton.
Mike said: “This makes the skydive look easy, that was just one day, a matter of minutes; this is 16 days and the South West Coast Path is perhaps the longest and most challenging route in the country.
“It's certainly the biggest challenge I've ever attempted and when Steve and I added up the stats and realised completing the whole length involved climbing a total of 35,000m with an average daily distance of 45miles, it is fair to say we wondered what we were taking on.
“But it is so important to me to step up for those people who have no voice, who are trapped in poverty. I feel that this should not be the status quo, we should all have dignity and the chance of a full life.
“So I will be digging deep and my hope is that as people see us or hear about our crazy run that they will dig into their pockets too and help me reach my target of £3,000. So that people can have life before death.”
Christian Aid’s regional coordinator for Somerset, Fiona Daborn, said: “We have the greatest respect for Mike and Steve and what they are taking on this summer.
“It is a phenomenal feat and it would be fantastic to see the people of the South West get behind them so that this run can bring hope and opportunity to as many of the world’s poorest people as possible.”
Follow Mike on twitter @revmikehaslam or to sponsor him visit his Just Giving page here.