Rhinos fan tackles the miles for Leeds charities

Local Project Manager and Leeds Rhinos fan Matt Fowler is the latest runner to sign up for the 'RUN/WALK with the Rhinos' team this year, adding the July 12th ASDA Foundation 10K to his already impressive list of races for 2015.

For many people, completing a distance run or walk for their chosen charity once a year is a sizeable enough challenge, but for Kippax born Matt Fowler who will have completed eight sponsored runs by the end of 2015, the prospect of tackling some of Yorkshire's most sought after running events is now very much part of a monthly routine.

The former footballer of over 20 years at Kippax Welfare took to running after finishing his career with the primary goal of maintaining fitness levels but has since built up a road racing portfolio that includes an enviable number of races over the 10K and half marathon distances over the last four years:

"I started running about 3/4 years ago to gain a little bit of fitness," explained Matt.

"I played football for 20 years with Kippax Welfare and when we eventually called it a day my fitness dropped off. I decided running was a good way to build back up my fitness and did my first Leeds 10K in 2011 with the Rhinos."

The now seasoned runner has already completed three of his eight events in 2015 and enjoyed the familiar feeling of support and friendly atmosphere created by the Yorkshire crowds lining the streets at the events.

He said: "I have already completed the Harewood House 10K, Wakefield 10K and the Yorkshire Half Marathon this year and they were all great events. The crowds at the Yorkshire Half Marathon in particular were fantastic. Last year's Leeds Half Marathon was also a great day and the crowds along the whole route were superb and really supportive."

With the next run in the calendar only weeks away, training is well underway for the lifelong Rhinos fan, who is setting his sights on breaking some personal targets in both fundraising and running as he works towards the marathon at the end of the year:

"I have run the Leeds Half Marathon twice now with a personal best of 1 hour 56 minutes, which I am really pleased with. I am hoping to get under 2 hours again this year but will be happy to go under 2 hours 5 minutes. I am trying to find a nice pace that I can take into the Yorkshire Marathon, so it's all a big build up for October's main event, my first marathon.

"I raised over £300 last time and this year I hope to double that to £600. I already have £250 raised so I am on target to get to that figure I hope."

Like many runners joining the Run with the Rhinos team the ability to raise money for both the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and the Run/Walk with Rhinos charities provides a great opportunity to support two worthy causes:

"With being a life-long Leeds fan and being a local lad close to Rothwell and seeing what Jane did, and what her charity continues to do, made the two causes an easy fit. I know the work they do and what it means to the local area, so raising money for Jane's Appeal and the Leeds Rhinos Foundation is one I will continue to support. I also get a huge amount of support back from each charity so it works all round."

Matt will join some of his heroes on the course in July this year with Leeds Rhinos legends Barrie McDermott, and this Run/Walk with the Rhinos year's race ambassador Jamie Peacock MBE all signed up to run and walk the Leeds 10k route and will take pleasure in ticking off another one of his favourite runs in his busy 2015 race calendar:

"The team spirit with other runners and the sense of achievement gave me a buzz to enter more races. As I have become a better runner I have entered even more races and the medal at the end is always nice!

"The remaining runs I have now are the Leeds Half Marathon, Leeds 10K, York 10K, Great North Run and the Yorkshire Marathon and I may add the Abbey Dash in to finish the year."

If you would like to sponsor Matt and support his fundraising quest in 2015 for both the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Jane's Appeal charities make your personal donation on his page at the link below:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Mattfazz11

Matt's complete list of races this year are:

  • Harewood House 10K - 8th March 2015
  • Wakefield Hospice 10K - 29th March 2015
  • Yorkshire Half Marathon - 12th April 2015
  • Leeds Half Marathon - 10th May 2015
  • Leeds 10K - 12th July 2015
  • York 10K - 2ndAugust 2015
  • Great North Run - 13th September 2015
  • Yorkshire Marathon - 11th October 2015