A mystery lone gentleman who came for Christmas dinner turned out to be a Southport charity hero and multiple marathon runner!

And when a kind Southport lady invited a stranger for Christmas lunch at her family table via a Facebook post, she didn’t have a clue she would be meeting a man who has run over 100 marathons and raised thousands for charity!

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Seated at her table, the mystery man began to talk over dinner, very humbly, about running for charity. It emerged that this man is called ‘John Curd’ and is quite an amazing individual!

The kind lady who had invited him for dinner was astonished when he told her all he had done and said to us

“I would rather you did a piece on him - not me, he’s run hundreds of marathons for charity. I would really like to get him recognised, and hopefully an honour from the Queen as he is an extraordinary gentleman!“

Southport facebook group 'Friends of Southport' tracked down this amazing gentleman for an interview.

“Tell us about your marathons, this sounds incredible. How many have you actually done?”

“I have completed 121 full marathons and 235 half marathons, 35 of which were Great North Runs,” he answers without a speckle of conceit.

“I’m so humbled and thankful that you would want to cover my story,“ says John,

“What a wonderfully kind offer from you to try to get my story more known. I really can’t thank you enough,” he adds.

Locals who know John are always saying he has not received the recognition he truly deserves.

We asked John “What has motivated you to do these amazing runs?“

“To be honest I’ve only ever done it mainly for the great feeling that raising money for charity gives me and also for the love that I have of running.”

We asked “How old are you John and are you still doing them?”

“I will actually be turning 77 in just over two weeks time but I’m still doing my running for charity.” Says John “These days I mostly just do half marathons (13.1 miles), now that I’m getting on in years!! But I did do the virtual London marathon last year”

We asked “How did the last few years with Covid affect your charity running?”

“Well, since the pandemic hit and a lot of running events were cancelled I have been doing virtual running challenges. “ says John “And I managed to raise £800 for the ‘Southport Lifeboat a few months ago doing the Route 66 Virtual Running challenge. (To run virtually basically means that you run the miles but you don’t do it in that named location) so I ran the 2,280 miles of Route 66 but I did it here in Southport. That took me several months.“

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Additionally John also did the Virtual London Marathon last year, as well, for ‘Pancreatic Cancer UK’ but again with it being a virtual one he couldn’t run it in London - so John ran the 26.2 miles locally. (Around Marshside, Churchtown and beyond around his home town of Southport)

“I have done the actual London marathon many times in the past, though“ John casually adds.

“I have also taken part in dozens of virtual runs or challenges over the past 18 months, including the 509 miles Camino de Santiago Virtual Challenge.”

Whilst we were coming to the end of the interview, John mentioned his time was running out “I am due to help someone with their grocery shopping today” he says.
Once again a selfless act.

Could Southport’s John Curd be the next ‘Captain Tom’ in the media?

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John Curd of Southport

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John with many of his medals

Reported by Claire Kelly of 'Friends of Southport'