Bury fund-raiser to complete year-long running challenge in memory of friend

Richard Smith is pictured taking part in the 100km Stour Valley Ultra Marathon in August ANL-160612-164649001
Richard Smith is pictured taking part in the 100km Stour Valley Ultra Marathon in August ANL-160612-164649001
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A fund-raiser will tomorrow complete a year-long running challenge in memory of a friend who died aged 19 from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes

Richard Smith, 32, of Bury St Edmunds, has taken on a gruelling schedule of running one big event every month this year to raise more than £2,000 for Diabetes UK.

Robbie Warner ANL-161006-155006001

Robbie Warner ANL-161006-155006001

It is in memory of his friend Robbie Warner who died suddenly just before his 20th birthday last year,

Tomorrow Mr Smith will complete the challenge after facing one of his toughest feats - seven marathons in seven days.

He is running with friend Teresa Pringle and they started in Dover on Sunday, December 4 before heading to Whistable, Chatham, Greenwich, Harlow, Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds. The pair will finish in Bacton tomorrow.

Mr Smith said: “It has been a very tough, but rewarding year, pushing myself further than I thought possible and meeting lovely, supportive people along the way.

“I’m looking forward to putting my feet up once this last challenge is out of the way and enjoying a nice long rest.”

Mr Smith played football with Robbie for Bacton United 89.

“I’m still friends with his dad Justin, who managed the football team,” he said. “Robbie lived life to the full and was very sporty and fit. It was such aterrible shock when he died. I wanted to do something to raise awareness of the condition.”

Robbie, who lived with his parents and sister in Stowupland, was studying at Northampton University when he passed away in February last year. Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin.

The extreme challenges Mr Smith has completed include 69 miles in 26 hours along Hadrian’s Wall, a 100km ultra marathon and a 20 mile race to the top of Snowdon.

Teresa Strange, Diabetes UK Eastern fund-raiser, said: “Richard’s year of challenges to raise money for Diabetes UK has been totally awe-inspiring.

“He has pushed himself to his physical limits and proves what can be achieved when you are really dedicated. Not only is he raising vital funds for Diabetes UK, but he is also raising awareness of the condition, which is vital. We fund vital research, support people living with the condition and fight for better care.”

To sponsor him, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/Running_For_Robbie