An Okehampton nurse is taking on a multi-marathon challenge this month and plans to run at least 100 miles in a 24-hour treadmill stint to raise money for the Tor Support Services.

James Rowley will be undertaking the challenge at the Future Bodies gym starting his workout at 11am on October 27. He will then walk and run continuously (excluding toilet breaks) on a treadmill for a full 24 hours, ending the challenge at 11am the following day.

Mental health support is a cause close to his heart having himself struggled with anxiety for many years. Also, as a nurse working with people with learning disabilities, he has seen how closely disability and mental health are linked.

He added: “For many years I have struggled with my mental health. A year ago that came to a head. I had amazing help from my family and GP and then I joined Future Bodies gym – the exercise has really helped – so I felt like I wanted to give back.

“I wanted to do it to challenge myself as well. I was a really anxious person but the exercise has improved my self confidemce

“It’s really important people get access to mental health support. There’s a lot about helping adults but mental health difficulties can affect people of all ages and I wanted to close that gap. My granddaughter also gets help from Tor Support Services.”

A strong walker anyway, James said that training was going really well. He has has been working closely with the instructors at Future Bodies to prepare for the challenge, which he said came to him in a “lightbulb moment,” and is currently working to increase his stamina in preparation for the day, when the whole challenge will be livestreamed through Facebook.

Throughout the challenge there will be an extra treadmill beside James for anyone who wishes to run or walk alongside him.

James added that anyone could come along and pre-book one (or more) 15-minute slots on the second treadmill throughout the challenge. There will also be a “guess the total calories” prize draw and anyone who joins James on the second treadmill can choose to have their photo taken and be included in the “Poster of Fame.”

James has set his fundraising target at £3,000 and at the time of writing had already raised over £700 for the youth counselling service.. To donate or to find out more, visit James’s Just Giving page here.