THE Loch Ness Marathon is a monster challenge – but two brothers are ready to take it on to help a youngster get the operation he needs.
Paul and Steve MacDonald were touched by the story of three-year-old Kai Hodgkinson, who has severe walking difficulties, and will attempt their first marathon on September 30.
Kai’s parents are trying to raise £60,000 for an operation in America which could help him walk properly.
Job Centre worker Paul, 38 has three sons of his own.
He said: “I was talking to someone who told me about Kai and was thinking of raising money and I thought –why not?
“It’s going to be tough but I’ve been training since May.
“It’s a good cause and he’s a great little boy.
“I used to do cross-country at school.
“I have had a problem with my back over the years but I decided to try running again and it didn’t seem to bad.
“We are hoping for a time of about three-and-a-half hours. After that I’m aiming to do the triathlon, something I have always wanted to do.”
Paul, of Cambridge Road, Fleetwood, added: “We chose the Loch Ness event because it would give enough time for training – so it would be achievable.
“The marathon starts off on an incline but after that there is just one hilly part and it follows the loch.
“We were camping in the Lake District last week and we did 15 miles over the hills so we have some experience of that.”
Paul’s brother Steven, who works in telesales and lives in Carr Road, Fleetwood, has experience running for charity, having completed a half marathon.
Kai, of Hesketh Place, Fleetwood, was born with diaplegic spastic cerebral palsy.
Despite doctors telling his parents he would never walk, the plucky tot beat all the odds and took his first steps last year.
Kai’s mum Caron today told The Gazette: “It’s a fantastic gesture.
“To do something as big as a 26-mile run is remarkable from someone we didn’t even know before.
“Hopefully it will get us nearer to the target.”