Former Rovers youngster Josh Askew says the ‘blood, sweat and tears were completely worth it’ after completing his phenomenal fundraising challenge at Ewood Park.
The 23-year-old, who spent nine years in Rovers’ youth system, has spent the past month running 10 half-marathons in support of his former team-mate Lewis Hardcastle, who was recently forced to retire from professional football due to a heart condition.
Josh has run 13.1 miles every three days throughout April and raised over £3,500 for the British Heart Foundation along the way.
He completed his monumental charity challenge by running the 10th and final half-marathon from Rovers’ Academy training base to Ewood Park – ending his epic experience with several laps of the pitch!
“It’s been really tough and really emotional,” he said. “Ten half marathons in 30 days, I never thought I’d ever do that, but I’m so grateful that I have because the support that I’ve received, the support that the British Heart Foundation has received and the support that Lewis has received it’s been completely worth it.
“It’s been worth the blood, sweat and tears. It has been the toughest challenge I’ve ever done, but completely worth it.
“The support I’ve had has been amazing. The amount of people that have jumped on board and helped me out, I can’t thank everybody enough. I never thought it would get this big and yet I’m so grateful that it has.
“To think that we’re closing in on £4,000 in that JustGiving page, from the very beginning when we had just over £1,000, it just shows just how much love and support people have put into Lewis’ story and the British Heart Foundation, and I’m so grateful.
“Lewis has been at the forefront of my thoughts on every single run. When it starts getting tough, a half-marathon is a fair distance to run, especially when you’re doing one every three days, you’ve got to remind yourself exactly what you’re running for.
“When you know what Lewis has gone through, and is currently going through, you’d never stop running! I just want to wish him and his family all the very best, and I’m really grateful that I got this opportunity and for all the support that I’ve received.
“I’d like to think that the story through it all is that in such tragic circumstances, there’s always positives and there’s always support at the end of it, and if you can find the positives out of negative situations then you’re doing something right.”
To help Josh raise as much money as possible for the British Heart Foundation, who helped save Lewis' life, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/josh-askew2