Some cheeky words of wisdom from a father that turned out to be the final words he said to his son has inspired a charity challenge that would surely receive the approval from the great Kevin Sinfield.
Phil Jones moved north back in 2019 from south Wales to take on a temporary headship at Caereinion High School, but he immediately fell in love with the area and his two terms turned into “four very happy years at the high school”.
He is the new recently appointed ‘town centre officer’ for Welshpool, Llanfair Caereinion, Llanfyllin and Montgomery, but it is away from his professional life that he is making huge strides for charity.
Phil is undertaking seven 10k runs in seven days, culminating with the Welshpool 10k on March 24, and is inviting the whole area to join his massive fundraising and awareness bid for Parkinson’s UK and Dementia.
It’s a tough challenge for someone not naturally drawn to pounding the streets, but he explains where his unusual inspiration came from.
“My dad, who passed away in November, suffered with Parkinson’s and Dementia,” said Phil, who has been training hard at Great Fitness in town.
“I ran two half marathons prior to his death and had three main goals. They remain the same - raise the profile of the charity, encourage people to exercise which is proven to slow down the onset of dementia and lastly, to raise money.
“My dad is my inspiration and his last words to me were that I was ‘too fat to run’.
“I have been overwhelmed by the amount of families that have or are currently having to manage the illness. The numbers affected will only increase. Others will be inspired by their own stories, and I am just bringing those stories together under one cover.”
Phil is enlisting the help of organisations, schools and even residential care homes to come together and support his challenge which he hopes will raise vital funds, and awareness.
“I am hoping to be able to raise enough money to fund a role for a Community Person for the Charity and support their Live Loud Campaign.”
Welshpool Town Mayor, Cllr Nick Howells, will flag off the first run from Morrison’s on Monday, March 18, with Phil encouraging as many people as possible to get involved.
“It’s not just running as well,” said Phil. “Walking, or even using Gym equipment like a rowing machine or bike, just so long as people can complete the task, even in relays/tag teams.
“I am not Kevin Sinfield. And I am not a runner. But I want to make a difference.”
Sinfield is a former rugby league star who has been undertaking remarkable charity challenges in honour of his friend Rob Burrow who is living with Motor Neurone Disease.
Phil’s 7 x 10k challenge!
Monday, March 18, 9.30am: Morrisons Car Park (along the canal)
Tuesday, March 19, 9.30am: Newtown College Campus (main entrance and college grounds)
Wednesday, March 20, 9.30am: Gregynog Hall (Primary Schools) and then 2pm Public Event
Thursday, March 21, 9.30am: Meifod Primary/COBRA playing fields
Friday, March 22, 9.30am: Welshpool HS via The Rhallt, Morland, Canal
Saturday, March 23, 9.30am: Repeat of Monday’s Run
Sunday, March 24, Welshpool 10K