A young boy from Leicestershire has spent 2020 running a mile every day since the first Coronavirus lockdown in the UK. Pukaar Magazine’s Ella Tansey got the chance to speak to him about his achievement.
A seven-year-old boy from Leicestershire raised over £7000 last year for two charities very close to his heart. As a baby, Charlie Slack recovered from the potentially life-threatening illness, Meningitis. His mum Alex understandably described it as a ‘very scary time.’ This experience inspired Charlie to set himself the challenge of running at least one mile each day in the hope of one day contributing to finding the cure for Meningitis. He also wanted to support those living with mental health problems. Despite all the hurdles along the way such as injuries including a sprained ankle, a nearly broken toe, fatigue, and the added complication of the pandemic which made it more difficult for people to support in person.
However, Charlie’s strength and determination acted as an unstoppable force as he managed to run 279 consecutive days since the start of the first lockdown in March. Some days he ran even more than one mile. Alex described a heartwarming moment when Charlie had fallen asleep for the evening but woke up to complete his mile of the day in the dark, without any complaining before heading back to bed. When asked about what he would like to do when he grows up, Charlie said that he’d like to be a chemistry scientist. Charlie said that he felt more determined than ever, and never once thought about giving up. He gives a lot of credit to his community, family, and friends who came out to support him and cheer him on and said that he would prefer to do his run in the evening when everybody could cheer him on from a safe distance.
Charlie even had friends join him on some of his runs along the way including his school friends running in socially distanced groups and a close friend who completed a mile two days before Christmas eve in his wheelchair. His mother Alex said: “This was challenging due to the social distancing rules but with the support of the police and their school, it was a success and lifted everybody’s morale in the lockdown.”
Although Charlie has talked about challenging plans in the future to raise even more money such as swimming a mile each day, he did enjoy a well-deserved rest on Christmas day and was treated for all his hard work after proudly completing his 325th mile on Christmas Eve, something his family is extremely proud of as they clapped and cheered him through the finish line Alex said: “He didn’t complain once.”