Londoner on track to complete epic run across US for charity after losing mum to cancer

9 April 2023, 17:12 | Updated: 10 April 2023, 01:20

A Londoner who is on track to run the length of the US in 63 days to raise money for cancer support says he had to make his mother&squot;s death "mean something".
A Londoner who is on track to run the length of the US in 63 days to raise money for cancer support says he had to make his mother's death "mean something". Picture: Instagram

By Chris Samuel

A Londoner who is on track to run across the United States in 63 days to raise money for cancer support says he had to make his mother's death from the disease "mean something".

William Goodge, 28, lost his mother Amanda to cancer in 2018.

He's hoping to raise £500,000 to be split between Macmillan and the American Cancer Society.

William is running from California to New York City – a route which requires him to average some 50 miles a day. He believes that has only been attempted by about 300 people and hopes to become the fastest Brit to manage the feat.

Speaking to LBC from Route 66, where much of the challenge is taking place, William said he's relishing crossing the finishing line, and is already bettering the average daily miles needed to reach his goal on schedule.

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"It's been going really well, actually," he said. "My body adjusted to what I'm doing quite quickly, which I'm really happy about.

"I've been averaging 52 miles a day so far, so I've got a bit of breathing room, if I like.

He's even managing to get some downtime, during periods when it's too hot to run.

William is hoping to raise £500,000 for cancer charities
William is hoping to raise £500,000 for cancer charities. Picture: Instagram

"It's actually okay, because I'm generally running for between 10 and 12 hours," he said. "At the middle of the day, when it's at its hottest time, I'll go for an hour's rest and have a nap, and get out the sun.

"But I'm sleeping eight hours or more every night, so so far so good. The wheels haven't quite fallen off yet.

William is supported by a crew of five, who are ensuring he's getting the nutrition he needs and helping him to produce weekly content posted on YouTube.

And unsurprisingly, he's caught the attention of a few locals along the way.

"I've had some random people coming up and taking photos of me, the crew, and the van," he said.

"Obviously, I've got a crew of five guys that are with me the whole time, so they're very supportive and basically the only thing I really do is run, myself.

"They do everything else."

William is currently on track to complete the remarkable challenge
William is currently on track to complete the remarkable challenge. Picture: Instagram

Asked what compelled him to take on such a gruelling task, William said he wanted to so something special for his late mother.

"I'm doing it to raise money for cancer charities in the US and the UK," he said.

"The main reason was my mum passed away from Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma just over five years ago, and at a time when I was 23, that was obviously devastating, it's devastating any time.

A crew of five make sure William is fed and that his body is holding up to the strain
A crew of five make sure William is fed and that his body is holding up to the strain. Picture: Instagram

"But she was so special that I couldn't make it just be another sad story. Cancer affects all of us, but I had to make it mean something.

"Raising money for cancer charities and hopefully showing people that they can use their negative emotional situations to fuel something positive is what I'm all about.

To get through the long periods on the road, William listens to music and Arsenal games, which can drive him on, even when results don't go the Gunners' way.

"This morning I listened to the Arsenal game, which will either make me really happy and run faster or really mad and run faster," he said.

"So either way that'll help. I have so much time with myself I really just think about my mum a lot.

"Your mind kind of goes everywhere and nowhere at once. It's very special to have that much free time and open space. It's a blessing really."

Asked how he'll feel when he reaches the end of his epic journey on June 4th, William said it will be "super emotional".

"It'll be a party," Mr Goodge chuckled, "it'll be emotional for sure because it's been on my mind for probably the past three years to do this, and obviously there's so much planning involved and so many hours of other people's time helping me.

"So it'll be super emotional, a lot of my family will be there, I'm hoping my grandpa can get out there (that's my mum's dad).

"That would be something we can hold on and cherish for the rest of our lives. I'll be highly emotional and a big weight off the shoulders.

He added that being reunited with friends and family at the end will bring "nothing but joy".

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