They say life begins at 40 – and for Lee Groucutt it has signalled the start of an epic challenge that will see him take on 40 races and marathons across the country.
Lee, of Codsall in South Staffordshire, is raising money for the NSPCC by taking on these events throughout 2019, after turning 40 this year.
The races include the Birmingham 10k in May, Cannock Chase 10k in August and the Birmingham Half Marathon in October.
He wanted to get involved with the charity after reading about a high profile local court case in which a young victim was sexually abused.
Lee said he was ‘inspired’ by the bravery of the victims, and added:
“I knew that I wanted to do something for the NSPCC – it blew my mind.
“I decided to run 40 runs and races at 40 years of age throughout 2019. This includes ten half marathons, 20 10k races and ten 5k park runs.
“We started on New Year’s Day and a lot of people will be joining me on the runs – it will be great to get other people on board. My last race will be on December 28.”
Now a keen runner, Lee took up the sport after hurting his back at the age of 25. He suffered back spasms and chronic back pain on and off for 12 years until he decided to see a back specialist who diagnosed him with a prolapsed disc.
He was told the best way to manage his back pain was to exercise more.
“I was swimming, light jogging and doing palates but in 2016 I entered the London marathon for a charity called Back Care – I needed that massive challenge to force me into doing it.
“I lost three stone in just ten months – it was a brutal experience but it was transformational and I ended up raising £1,300.”
Lee has completed 13 of his 40 races, and as well as aiming to raise between £500 and £1,000 for the NSPCC, Lee is also hoping to start volunteering at Childline.
“It has really captured my imagination – it’s amazing how people volunteer to offer such an important service to young people who need their voices heard. It is a crucial and critical service and it needs all of the support it can get.”