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Virtual London Marathon effort by Snettisham man for five vital Norfolk causes

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A community-minded West Norfolk man took part in the Virtual London Marathon at the weekend as he covered more than 26 miles near his village home.

Jon Clifton, 42, set off from his Snettisham home at 7am on Sunday as he walked 26.2 miles in just under eight hours.

The villager has been active during lockdown after being furloughed from his job as a sound technician. As well as working on his fitness and completing a 53 mile coastal walk in August, Mr Clifton has also been nominated as a West Norfolk Hero for helping others during a challenging time.

Snettisham resident Jon Clifton completed the Virtual London Marathon on Sunday as he raises funds for five local causes. Picture: SUBMITTED
Snettisham resident Jon Clifton completed the Virtual London Marathon on Sunday as he raises funds for five local causes. Picture: SUBMITTED

Mr Clifton pursued his interest in photography to "brighten up" people's lives as he posted scenic pictures every day on social media. This subsequently generated interest from all over the world, as well as locally.

And he has been raising funds for five West Norfolk charities through his marathon challenge with funds being split between the Norfolk Hospice, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the Purfleet Trust, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital charitable fund as well as Norfolk and Waveney MIND.

Mr Clifton has exceeded his £1,000 fundraising target with £1,260 being donated at the time of writing for the good causes.

Jon Clifton's West Norfolk Heroes badge and certificate
Jon Clifton's West Norfolk Heroes badge and certificate

Speaking about his latest challenge, Mr Clifton said: "When I say to people I am walking it they go 'ugh you are only walking it' but it's really hard and I tried to walk it in a decent time. The day afterwards, my legs and feet hurt, and the worst thing is the general tiredness.

"The last stretch is the most difficult part when you have got to mile 20 and your brain just goes. It becomes a case of one foot in front of the other and you do not need the rain to come at that point!

"It was tough but I never felt like giving up and the prestige of receiving a London Marathon medal in the post along with supporting all the charities made it worthwhile and pushed me through it."

The fundraiser passed through Dersingham and Ingoldisthorpe as well as covering his own village of Snettisham.

And it comes after Mr Clifton completed a 53 mile walk along the North Norfolk coast path for the five charities back in August.

The 42-year-old added: "If I go back to work I will be much fitter. When I was furloughed I did not just want to be sat around watching telly or playing on my phone. It is nice to get fit and train for things and I find that being active is good for wellbeing which is quite important to me.

"This year has been strange but it has been so rewarding by having the time to go out and do different things.

"The idea at the start of lockdown was to do something positive for myself and local charities which was important for me both mentally and physically. It gave me something to focus on in terms of helping other people out and it has served that purpose so it is something I will be forever proud of."

Mr Clifton has received his West Norfolk Hero certificate and badge in the post, and has a phone call with mayor Geoff Hipperson in the coming days.

He added: "I am quite humbled about being called a hero because it is not something I expected and it is not something I would call myself. You want good things for people and I know I am not the only one like that as there as so many people in West Norfolk doing great things, so to be nominated is an honour.

"We have got people in the hospital and care homes doing incredible things which are far more important than me just taking pictures and trying to do good, but it is really nice to be respected."

You can visit Mr Clifton's fundraising page at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JonClifton.

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