Five people are going to be tackling marathon distances in October to raise money for the Jersey Employment Trust and Acorn Enterprises.
Each day this week, Channel Eye is meeting one of the runners. Today we meet Stuart Penn.
A civil servant and former stunt performer who was born with only one fully formed limb is aiming to complete his first marathon by taking part in the Virtual London Marathon.
In his childhood Stuart Penn was told he would never walk, never ride a bike and never lead a normal independent life but he was raised by parents who decided there was no such word as ‘can’t’. He has gone on to achieve 4th dan black belt in Taekwondo and a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, compete in disabled athletics, perform stunt work in movies and TV productions, and help build an industry in casualty simulation for those with limb loss.
He also leads a ‘normal independent life’ with his wife and children, and he is Acting Head of Service for Skills Jersey.
Stuart (44) has always wanted to complete a marathon and the Virtual London Marathon is an ideal way to do this. Participants have 24 hours to run or walk the 26 miles in any way they like – including in different stages, with friends and family, and on their own chosen route.
“Having walked 21 miles in one day six years ago, I am motivated to push myself that extra few miles to raise money for JET,’ he said. ‘This is going to be very much an endurance challenge for me and it’s likely to take me about 12 hours to walk the 26 miles. Challenges will include rubbing of the prosthetic limbs and my knee turning as it is unstable. It’s never going to be a walk in the park!
“What will help keep me going is the thought that I’m raising money for such an amazing organisation. JET support so many of my fellow disabled Islanders to be able to access work and the life benefits this brings that no matter how hard this marathon is going to be, it will be worth it to have a positive impact on so many lives.”
The Virtual London Marathon is held on the same day as the mass running event in the capital, Sunday 2nd October.