Four Marathons, Six Weeks, One Fat Elvis…

Head of Public Sector Sales Andy Riley faces marathon test for Pendleside Hospice.

Andy Riley will attempt to conquer the UK’s marathons while dressed as his favourite singer – complete with padded-up jumpsuit – to fulfil a dying wish of his late father Brian, who was cared for at the hospice in 2016.

Andy, Head of Public Sector Sales at Daisy Corporate Services, will attempt to complete the three big UK city marathons – London, Belfast and Edinburgh – as well as the Great Welsh Marathon, a feat he said would be the toughest challenge he has ever faced.

Andy says: “My father Brian was cared for in Pendleside Hospice in December, 2016. In one of the last conversations we had he said to me that I’d better raise some money for the hospice.”
“I completed the London Marathon last year in my fat Elvis suit to raise money for the hospice, but I thought this year I’d try to up the challenge. I wanted to do a marathon in each of the UK’s countries. Wales doesn’t have a city one, but the organisers of the Great Welsh Marathon, which is a coastal run, saw my plans on social media and invited me to take part.”

Andrew, who will be carrying a handicap of an extra 15 kilos thanks to Elvis’ love of hamburgers and the padded suit, will also have to contend with an injured knee.

“I chose Elvis because he is instantly recognisable and almost universally popular. He’s also one of my favourite singers but his larger size towards the end means the padded suit makes the running a lot harder. As you can imagine the suit gets a lot heavier as the race goes on due to all the extra sweat.

“I hurt my knee training earlier this year as well but thankfully it’s feeling better now with physio. I just hope it holds up. Last year I raised £4,200 so I’m hoping to smash that this time with all the extra runs.”

Andrew’s quartet of marathons begins in Wales on April 14 before he takes on London on April 28, Belfast on May 5 and ends with Edinburgh on May 26.

This article was originally published in The Burnley Express, 26 March 2019.