first_imgA former footballer will run four marathons, climb Britain’s highest mountain and jump 13,000ft from a plane to raise funds for us – all within six months.Michael with Celtic soccer legend and cancer battler John Hartson.Michael Clarke, 39, set himself a ‘mini bucket list’ of challenges to achieve before his 40th birthday next June.The dad-of-three, who is originally from Clydebank but lives in Donegal, started training on December 27 last year then kicked off his challenges with two half marathons in Larne on March 22 and Omagh just a week later. The following weekend saw him skydive from 13,000ft above the Coleraine countryside, followed by his first marathon in Belfast on May 5. The Derry Walled City Marathon followed – then he joined us for the BraveHart Ben Nevis Challenge in Fort William in July.He has just run the Donegal marathon and aims to do the Dublin event on October 27, bringing six months of mammoth fundraising to an end.Michael – who was on the books at Partick Thistle and Motherwell before moving to Irish senior football, said this is his last full year before he turns 40 and has plenty to do.“So I have set myself some challenges to achieve while fundraising for the John Hartson Foundation- a mini bucket list you could say. Cancer unfortunately affects all households, whether it’s directly through a partner, child, parent, or sibling, or indirectly through a friend or relative – it darkens all our doors. It has certainly been a busy year. Running is a real challenge for me as I hate it! I have two bad knees that forced me to retire from football a good few years ago. But the skydive was amazing, I would do it again and I aim to smash all my challenges.” Michael, who now runs an electrical fire alarm engineering business, was inspired to raise funds for us after meeting John in 2010, a year after his illness, when he had climbed Ben Nevis for the first time.Michael runs the Derry Marathon.Michael said: “My family and I raise funds for a different cancer charity every year and at the time I was impressed by how much John cared about his Foundation. Then I read about the donation to Yorkhill Children’s Charity and decided to get involved as I like the fact the Foundation is helping other cancer charities.”Michael has almost reached his fundraising target of £1,000 but hopes to do even better by the time he has completed the final marathon on October 27.John said: “Michael’s story is truly inspiring and demonstrates the amazing lengths to which our supporters will go to raise funds for us. He is a true Hartson Hero.”If you’d like to make a donation towards Michael’s fundraising, you can do so through this JustGiving link Michael also has some sporting memorabilia for auction which he’ll be putting on his site over the next few days. FOUR MARATHONS, A MOUNTAIN AND A PARACHUTE JUMP – A TYPICAL SIX MONTHS FOR MICHAEL! was last modified: October 7th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Marathonsmichael clarkeparachute jumplast_img read more