DONS star man Paul Cooke has run his first two marathons over the past two days – and will follow them up with another five over the next five days.
The stand off has been determined to repay the hospice which cared for his mum Christine in the days leading up to her death last year.
So in a bid to test his mettle, and raise some much needed funds in the process, Cooke devised the mammoth task of seven marathons in seven days, despite never running even just one before.
Speaking to the Free Press before his epic task began, Cooke said: “It sounds like a crazy idea but I know I’ll get through it.
“I wanted to try something that would really test me and this just seems like the perfect challenge.
“Ultimately it’s all about raising money for Dove House and honouring my mum as well.
“To have people donate, you’ve got to inspire them with what you’re doing and hopefully this will do that.”
Cooke will cover more than 180 miles in a week to raise funds for the Dove House Hospice in his home town of Hull.
The 31-year-old will start and finish each day at one of Dove House’s charity shops and loop around the city and its surrounding areas.
He is delighted with the support he has received so far with more than £2,000 raised.
He said: “It’s been overwhelming how much people have got behind what I’m doing and I can’t thank them enough.
“I’ve not exactly been a popular person in certain parts of Hull since switching between the two clubs but people seem to have put that behind them when it comes to this.”
Cooke is backing his years of tough training as a top level rugby league player to get him through the task.
His determination to honour the memory of his mum will also see him through.
He said: “I made a promise to my mum before she died that I’d do something like this and I’ve made the same promise to Dove House.
“They made the family’s lives so much easier in our last moments with mum and I’m forever indebted to them for that.”
* To sponsor Paul Cooke for his 180+ mile test visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PaulCooke06.
A charity night will be held in Hull next Tuesday to mark the end of Cooke’s endurance trek.
Tickets are £6 and includes a glass of champagne on arrival.
The event will be held at the Lizard Lounge in Hull at 7pm.
To purchase a ticket call 01482 785143.