Ollie Biddle, 26, undertook a 100km walk for his March the Marshes challenge to raise money for Parkinson’s UK.
He spent 23 and a half hours walking laps around Farlington Marshes in Portsmouth – completing 20 laps of five kilometres in total.
The challenge was for something close to dad-of-one Ollie’s heart, having seen his grandparents go through Parkinson’s.
The life-limiting condition affects the brain and can cause involuntary shaking, slow movements and stiff muscles. There is no cure, but symptoms can be eased.
Ollie said: ‘It was extremely tough, both physically and mentally. By the final few laps, I was hallucinating, I could barely pick my feet up and was physically leaning on my mum to get me round. But it’s something that means a lot to me and that was what kept me going through the final laps, when I felt like my legs were going to give up on me and I couldn’t keep going anymore.
‘At one point a jogger tapped me on the shoulder and asked to tag along with me for a lap, that local community spirit really got me through some of the harder laps. The walk itself was on what would have been my grandma’s 88th birthday, so it meant more because of that.’
Ollie, who works at Chichester-based brand experience agency, Collaborate, trained during his lunch breaks to allow him to spend as much time with his seven-month-old son in the evenings and at weekends.
Collaborate doubled Ollie’s total, leaving him with the final amount of £3,696 after his March 5 feat.
Ollie added: ‘The team have supported me massively with this and are really understanding about me training on my lunch breaks. We’re a small team of 11 and are a really tight-knit community, which means we all support each other whatever we’re up to.’
Parkinson’s UK is hoping to make the March the Marshes challenge a fixture in its annual fundraising schedule, with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Trust, which owns Farlington Marshes and Portsmouth City Council backing this.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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