Corby teacher's gruelling 48-hour fundraiser to get rehab for inspirational gym buddy

Paul Mackay will run four miles every four hours over two days

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 7:00 am

A Corby PE teacher will test his mental and physical strength to support his friend who is battling to get back to fitness after a near-death illness.

Paul Mackay, who teaches at Brooke Weston Academy, met Kyle Hughes when they both trained at Corby International Swimming Pool gym, the same year Kyle was struck by a brain illness, which eventually left him paralysed.

When mutual friends launched a campaign to raise £30,000 to fund a rehabilitation course with a sponsored Ice Bin Challenge, Paul jumped at the chance to help - doing his one minute submerging his body in a wheelie bin of icy water.

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Paul ran for Corby Town Athletics Club

But now he wants to raise even more money with a 4x4x48 challenge - running four miles, every four hours, over two days, a total of 77km or 47.8 miles.

Paul said: "This challenge is nothing [compared] to what Kyle has been through. He's pushing his body to the limit to get better and we need him to get the opportunity to get better. He is an inspiration to me."

The 34-year-old starts his first four-mile run at noon on Friday, March 5, on a route around Little Stanion. After a rest he will restart pounding the street at 4pm, with volunteers joining him, socially distanced, including colleagues from Brooke Weston, and his partner Frankie Macleod.

She will run alongside him on two of the legs whilst PE department friends have been allocated turns - even in the middle of the night. His last run will take place at 8am on Sunday.

Kyle Hughes

Kyle Hughes, 34, was fit and healthy when a brain cyst triggered a series of medical crises including a stroke that left him confined to a wheelchair, unable to eat, talk or walk.

To help him fulfil his promise to himself that he will walk again his friends, Jason Strachan and Gary McQuade, issued a minute-long challenge of sitting in a wheelie bin full of icy cold water to fundraise for an intensive course of rehabilitation.

So far the Crowdfunding campaign has raised over £25,000 with more than 800 supporters pledging money to raise the £30,000 to send Kyle abroad for a three-month intensive rehabilitation course.

A runner for Corby Athletics Club, Paul was hoping to do an ultra marathon during his half-term holiday but because of lockdown chose the 4x4x48 challenge instead to help Kyle.

Paul on one of his regular competitive runs

Paul added: "This challenge is all about Kyle. I'm going to push my mind to the limit. I looked to Kyle and his levels of fitness before he was ill. I'm really fit and the distance doesn't bother me - it's more psychological than physical and I like my sleep, but it's really nothing to what he's been through. He's an inspiration.

"I would like to thank all the people from work who have given money and who are going to run with me."