While most people want to run away from a milestone birthday, a north east man will be running into it - and in fancy dress too.
Richard Lethbridge, 29, plans to celebrate his 30th birthday by taking part in a total of 30 running events over one year while raising money for charity, and Kielder Marathon is one of the events.
He begins his action packed year on Sunday September 8 2013, the date of his birthday, with a ten mile endurance run at Caterrick Garrison in North Yorkshire.
Kielder Marathon, held at the award winning Kielder Water & Forest Park in Northumberland and hosted by Northumbrian Water will be Richard’s third stop.
The Park is home to the largest remaining population of red squirrels in England and while running along the picturesque Lakeside Way, the setting for Britain’s most beautiful marathon, Richard could be mistaken for some of its inhabitants…
He plans to run it dressed in a red squirrel costume!
Richard, who spends his time living between Harrogate, North Yorkshire and Hexham, Northumberland said: "I’ve always wanted to do something big for charity and wanted to do something which people think is a bit weird and out there.
"With my 30th birthday coming up, I thought it would be a good idea to do 30 events. It works out about one event every other weekend! It’s been difficult working out the logistics of it and finding something to do for each one which is a bit different and challenging.
"Everyone thinks I’m nuts. The most daunting thing is not what the events are but how much time it will take. It’s going to be a pretty packed year."
Electrical Engineer, Richard, will be raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust units at the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Freeman hospital, and has set himself a staggering target of £30,000.
Every day, six young people aged between 13 and 24 get diagnosed with cancer and the Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to improving their quality of life and chances of survival.
Teenage Cancer Trust Regional Fundraiser, Zoe Hull, said: "Richard is an extraordinary fundraiser with a real passion for challenging events. His fundraising will make a huge difference to the lives of teenagers and young people living with cancer in the north east and we are delighted to support him every step of the way."
Kielder Water and Forest Park, which spans 250 square miles, is home to the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe.