Ex-rugby player completes 48 marathons in 30 days in tribute to mother

A former rugby player who took on 48 marathons in 30 days in memory of his mother says she was with him “every step of the way”.

here were tears as William Goodge crossed the finish line in London on Sunday after a whirlwind few weeks that saw him cover more than 1,200 miles.

He had pounded the pavement from Cornwall to Cumbria before joining 40,000 people for the London Marathon at the weekend.

The 27-year-old model from Bedfordshire took on marathons in all 48 English counties, and raised more than £37,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, which supported his mother Amanda in the Macmillan Primrose Unit at Bedford Hospital.

After completing the final marathon – and unofficially breaking the world record for 48 marathons – Mr Goodge said: “My feelings are hard to pinpoint as trying to think about the whole challenge is overwhelming.

“What I do know is that I feel tremendously proud to have done what I did in my mum’s honour and for Macmillan Cancer Support, who have supported me through the whole process.”

For the past three years, Mr Goodge has spent Christmas Day running near his home in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, as a way of coping with the loss of his mother, who died aged 53 after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

He said finishing his challenge with the London Marathon was “truly special”.

This experience has been one of a lifetime and I have memories and feelings you cannot buy or plan forWilliam Goodge

He added: “The energy of the occasion, having my friends and family there, and countless strangers on the way shouting in support was as good as it gets.

“I left everything I had out there and did it for a bigger purpose than myself.

“This experience has been one of a lifetime and I have memories and feelings you cannot buy or plan for.

“They can only come about from pushing yourself to the limits. I’m grateful I was able to do it. My mum was with me every step of the way.”

William Goodge with his mother Amanda (William Goodge/PA)

He said: “She was the kindest person you could ever meet and never had a bad word to say about anyone.

“When it came to her family, she was very protective. She was very selfless and always wanted to do everything for everyone.”

While making his way through Bedfordshire on Friday October 1, Mr Goodge met cancer nurses Julie Rowley and Tammie Taylor, who cared for his mother.

He said the meeting was “very emotional”, adding: “They’re two beautiful, caring women who did all they could to help my mum while she was being treated there.

“They said how they remembered her and how alike we are. I’m usually able to talk a lot about nothing but in that moment, all I could come up with was ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re doing incredible work’.”

Melanie Humphreys, regional fundraising manager for Macmillan, said: “We are so proud of William for what he has achieved. The challenges William has set himself over the past 12 months have been nothing short of superhuman.

“William is such a kind and motivated person, pushing himself beyond his limits, all in memory of his wonderful mum Amanda.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Macmillan’s income, at a time when people living with cancer need our support more than ever.

“The vital funds raised by supporters like William will help us continue to do whatever it takes to support people living with cancer, and reach our goal of being there for everyone, from day one of their diagnosis. We simply cannot thank him enough.”

Mr Goodge’s fundraising page is at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=WilliamGoodge&pageUrl=7

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