Determined dad Tim Kirk is taking on the 10-mile Morrisons Great South Run in aid of a cause close to his heart.
He will run to raise money for Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association because his son Harrison has the condition.
Tim says the support of the charity has helped the whole family during some difficult times.
‘Of course it has been hard and there have been hurdles to get over during Harrison’s life,’ he said.
‘But the Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association has been fantastic through all of it.
‘Harrison is a great little boy so hopefully I can make him very proud when I run.’
The 33-year-old, will join up to 25,000 runners on the start line of the Morrison’s Great South Run, which takes place in Portsmouth on Sunday, October 25.
The 10-mile route of the Morrisons Great South Run takes in iconic landmarks such as the Spinnaker Tower and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and runners are kept motivated by bands on the run, ‘boost zones’ and thousands of cheering spectators.
Tim is hoping to raise more than £1,500 for the charity which was, he says, close to collapse until recently.
He added: ‘It is a charity very close to my heart. Everyone there has helped Harrison with his speech development as well as offering educational support which has made a big difference to our lives.
‘Sadly, it is a very small, parent-run charity and a few years ago they lost funding from Children in Need.
‘It looked like they would go under but luckily with lots of fundraising events like this run, parents who the charity has helped were able to keep them going.
‘It’s a shame that they exist on donations and fundraising alone because they do so much good work in this area.’
Tim began training for the event 24 weeks ago and although says the distance will be tough, is geared up for the challenge thanks to support from his friends and family.
‘This is my first run ever so I really am looking forward to it and when it comes to the day hopefully I’ll be able to do Harrison proud.
‘The whole family including Harrison, his five sisters and my wife Lisa will all be down there on the day so hopefully they can keep me going through it!’
Famous faces to take part in the Great South Run this year include the comedian Hugh Dennis, while European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey will compete in the women’s elite field.
Tim, of St John’s Road, Bedhampton, has set up a fundraising page at virginmoneygiving.com/team/ portsmouthdsa for people who would like to offer any donations for his effort.
The Morrisons Great South Run is the world’s leading 10-mile running event.
As well as the 10-mile run on Sunday, October 25, there are 5k, Junior and Mini events taking place on Saturday, October 24.