Like thousands of others, Shropshire man Nathan Rous completed the Shrewsbury 10k earlier this week.
But instead of starting and ending in the town’s High Street, incredibly he crossed the line 4,600 miles away – in Ucluelet, Canada.
Nathan, 44, entered the race as part of a team to raise money for the Steve Newman Blue Sky Foundation – a charity set up in honour of his good friend, Steve Newman, who sadly died from leukaemia in November 2017, aged just 50.
Steve, from Shrewsbury, was a former senior manager with the Midland News Association.
The race was originally supposed to be held in Shrewsbury in March, but had to be postponed due to snow. When Nathan realised the rescheduled race would be held while he was on a family holiday to Canada, he set about finding a way to join in from afar.
Nathan, who runs Much Wenlock PR firm Nathan Rous PR, said: “When I realised the rescheduled race would clash with my holiday, I was initially disappointed as I thought I would have to miss it.
“But then I realised that I could still run it, just a few thousand miles away from everyone else in the team!”
Nathan’s unique Shrewsbury 10k route took him along the Wild Pacific Trail, which winds its way around the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island
“Steve was the greatest friend you could imagine, and all of us who knew him would give anything for another second in his company. He was warm, infectious, charming, and loyal, and I felt that he was with me every step of the way on the run,” said Nathan.
“We’ve already raised a mammoth £2.5k for the charity so far, every penny of which will go towards helping people deal with a leukaemia diagnoses in the same way Steve tackled it – with dignity, heart and determination.”
Steve’s step-daughter, Olivia Goode, said she was touched by Nathan’s commitment to running the race despite not being in the country in honour of Steve.
She said: “Nathan was a great friend to Steve. He was, and continues to be, incredibly supportive to our family, even in the darkest of days. We’re so proud of him and everyone that took park in the Shrewsbury 10k and in turn raising so much money for our new charity – ‘The Steve Newman Blue Sky Foundation’. Money raised will be put into Leukaemia research and also into supporting families affected by Leukaemia.”