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Jimmy McDonnell runs the equivalent distance of four marathons in seven days for Don't Lose Hope charity

Marathon man Jimmy McDonnell is hoping his fundraising efforts will help towards educating youngsters about mental health.

The former Bourne Town manager and player completed his fundraising exploits on Sunday after running the equivalent distance of four marathons in seven days.

The 43-year-old had set out on his challenge to raise funds for the Bourne-based Don't Lose Hope mental health charity.

Jimmy McDonnell with Don't Lose Hope's Eddy Bear. Photo: George Parish (35310880)
Jimmy McDonnell with Don't Lose Hope's Eddy Bear. Photo: George Parish (35310880)

His efforts have brought in nearly £2,500 for the North Street charity who will be using the money to help fund emotional resilience workshops that will be offered to primary schools from September.

Jimmy spoke out publicly in February about his mental health battle and believes the emotional resilience workshops have a key role to play.

He said: "I'm still learning things about mental health now, but the key is educating youngsters and getting it into schools.

"It's a shot in the arm when all these people are donating because they will have helped their own children, their friends' children and strangers' children.

"I am convinced these workshops will make at least one person see that it makes a bit more sense as to why they're feeling anxious.

"I think we can all agree that children can sometimes say the worse things to each other and it is just that one comment which can stick in someone's mind all the time and it's amazing how long it does stay with you."

Jimmy McDonnell (right). Photo: George Parish (35310883)
Jimmy McDonnell (right). Photo: George Parish (35310883)

Jimmy's marathon effort saw him set out with the intention of running a total of 104 miles over seven days.

He started off last Monday by clocking 15.41 miles which was then followed 24 hours later by another 16.52 mile stint.

Runs of 17.88, 14.86 and 15.61 miles took him to the weekend where he rounded off his exploits with distances of 14.52 and 17.30 miles which totalled more than 112 miles overall.

Jimmy added: "It's helped keep me fit and kept my mind active.

"Some brilliant people have jumped on it by sponsoring and donating and we've raised money which is realistically going to help someone's life.

"I did get some really nice comments which kept me going because it was tough some of the time.

"I'm pleased to have done it and it was nice to have set myself a challenge. It's just about proving to yourself that you can do these things.

"The biggest thing for me was that, as the charity has had to cancel two fundraisers, it keeps them in the public eye.

"It was never about me. All I've done is put one foot in front of the other. It's all down to everyone who has gone out and donated.

"I just hope that people realise that it's amazing what you can do when everyone pulls together."

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