Fundraising legend John Burkhill is set to run his 1000th race at Leeds 10K and is determined to raise £1m for MacMillan Cancer Support.
John Burkhill, affectionately known as the ‘Mad Man with a Pram’, is set to take on his 1000th race on Sunday 8th July and continue his inspirational fund raising mission at the Asda Foundation Leeds 10K.
John hopes to raise £1m for MacMillan Cancer Support – a charity very close to his heart after the sad passing of his wife, June, in 1992.
For the past 26 years, John has travelled all over the UK in his famous green wig, pushing his pram and raising money for the charity.
Talking to Run For All, John said: “I have raised money for a handful of charities but my mission is to raise £1m for MacMillan Cancer Support.
“The way they looked after my wife was special."
When asked how much he has raised so far, John said: “I've picked up some big cheques from lots of big organisations over the years. But what matters to me is the money that goes in pram from every day people. And it is safe to say that these people have raised somewhere between £500,000 and £750,000. Thank you so much everyone."
"I am now nearing my 80th birthday and I can tell you one thing is for sure - I will reach my £1m fundraising target for MacMillan Cancer Support".
John’s journey began in 1967 at the Sheffield Star Walk. Since then, he has taken on the London Marathon 16 times and many Run For All events.
John’s fund raising heroics have not gone unnoticed. He has met the Queen, carried the Olympic Torch and touched many hearts across the UK.
“I always get a fantastic reception everywhere I go.
“They all know this mad man with a pram from Sheffield and I am very proud to be that man.”
One memory stands out above all for John. In 1992, he pushed his wife, June, around the Sheffield Half Marathon - a fortnight later she passed.
“She was suffering from cancer at the time and it had always been a lifetime ambition for her to get a finisher’s medal”
“When we crossed the finish line the atmosphere was terrific - it was as if she’d won”
John is now looking to take on his 1000th race at the Asda Foundation Leeds 10K - often referred to as the Jane Tomlinson legacy run. Despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer, Jane made headlines across the world by competing in a series of epic endurance challenges and raised £1.85m for children’s and cancer charities.
After completing a 4,200 mile cycle ride across the width of the USA, Jane eventually raised enough money to birth the Run For All Leeds 10k in 2007. John saw the race as a fiiting place to reach his running milestone.
"I am lucky enough to have met Jane" he said.
"She was such a wonderful lady. I hold great respect for what her and her husband, Mike, have done for charities across the UK. I feel honoured to have met them both.
"Every race is special, but to reach 1000 races at Jane's legacy run will feel that extra bit special."
John hopes that his presence will encourage more people to take part and raise money for some fantastic charitable causes.
“It’s all about getting round, not how fast you run.
“Don’t get me wrong when I first started I wanted to win.
“But in my eyes, if you finish you’re are a winner.”
If you would like to join John on his 1000th race, please click Leeds 10K.
If you would like to find out more about John’s mission, please visit John’s Just Giving Page.