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Young fundraiser runs round Fakenham Racecourse as part of 34 course challenge to raise money for Injured Jockey Fund

PUBLISHED: 15:44 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:44 29 March 2017

James Clarkson (11) running around Fakenham Racecourse with clerk of the course David Hunter. Picture: Ian Burt

James Clarkson (11) running around Fakenham Racecourse with clerk of the course David Hunter. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

An 11-year-old boy ran round the Fakenham Racecourse as part of a challenge to run all of England’s National Hunt courses in just five days.

James Clarkson (11) at Fakenham Racecourse with his dad, Ed and (R) clerk of the course David Hunter. Picture: Ian Burt James Clarkson (11) at Fakenham Racecourse with his dad, Ed and (R) clerk of the course David Hunter. Picture: Ian Burt

Fundraiser James Clarkson, from Somerset, is travelling with his father Edward Clarkson across England to run all 34 courses.

He hopes to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund and has so far raised almost £5,000 through an online Justgiving page.

David Hunter, chief executive and clerk of the Fakenham course, ran alongside James on Tuesday and said: “We ran around the race course and he was a very nice, confident young lad who I really admire for what he is doing. He is raising a lot of money for a really good cause and I have true admiration for that from a lad of such a young age.”

He added: “It’s quite a gruelling task not only for his dad who is driving such a long way, but also for James who is running what will amount to be almost a couple of marathons by the time he’s done”

Over the five days between March 27 and March 31, James will run a combined total of 50 miles and he and his father will drive 1,659 miles.

His father, Edward Clarkson, said it was all James’ idea. “It started as a school project about raising money and helping people and that was the germ, it grew from there,” he said.

“He has done all the work himself. He started by ordering a laminated map of England and he then sat down and located all the race courses and contacted them. He worked out all the logistics. And the whole racing fraternity has been unbelievably supportive of him. They’ve really supported the idea. For an 11 year old boy its all been quite an experience and I worry that next week is going to feel very boring when normality returns.

“It seems to have really fired him up and he’s already talking about other things he can do but I’ve said lets get through this one first before we go with more.”

He added: “I really think the whole thing is terrific, I’m so proud of him in so many different ways and the money he’s raising is incredible, we thought maybe we’d get contributions from grandparents and family, we had no idea it would be picked up by the wider world. He is really pushing himself and it’s just incredible.”

For more details about James’s challenge visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Racecourse-Run

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