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LOCAL FOCUS


Rob with Fiancée Jo and son Buddy


Rob was first dressed by kids in his signature kilt


He is the most humble man I have met. The more I think about what Rob is doing, the more it amazes me. Brett Garrard, Olympic field hockey player


abuse by his father. At the age of seven, Rob was repeatedly assaulted and even hung by the neck with rope by his father. He was forced to watch the repeated abuse of his six-year-old sister. It mentally destroyed his mother and as far as he is aware his father is still in jail. He has no contact with any family members. ‘My family tree starts with my fiancée, my children and me. I am very happy with the way my life has worked out and if I ever saw my father again, I would let him know that I forgive him.’


From the age of eight, Rob was moved repeatedly to different orphanages across the country, and at the age of 12 he was taken in by a head teacher, ‘who was like a father to me. He saw the disconnection between social services and what I was about. I am so grateful to him,’ Rob shares.


Rob is also motivating adults and children throughout the world to aim for greatness. ‘Anyone can achieve extraordinary things. Everyone has brilliance within. I’m just an ordinary guy trying to show that nothing is impossible. You can go beyond your limits and achieve anything you set you mind to.’


His unbelievable effort has attracted the support of the band Coldplay, Sir Richard Branson and a host of professional athletes, including Olympian Mo Farrar CBE, marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe MBE, and two-time Olympic field hockey player Brett Garrard, who has run alongside Rob: ‘He is the most humble man I have met. The more I think about what Rob is doing, the more it amazes me.’


In one weekend Rob ran the equivalent of seven marathons, sleeping for only two hours. ‘Even when I do an ultra marathon I only count it as one. My path is not about taking the easiest, flattest route. It’s about demonstrating that everyone can go beyond their limits,’ Rob says genuinely. The Institute of Sport Exercise is studying Rob. His body can run at 11 kilometres per hour all day and all night. It can just keep going. He also has an incredible ability to heal. When both his kneecaps aspirated, leaking fluid into his legs and causing massive swelling, he continued running and five days later completed a 100-mile ultra marathon in 23 hours and 52 minutes. Rob could not do this alone and is supported


around the clock by full-time voluntary manager Alistair Parkes, a county and school rugby coach, community fundraiser and a former media sales director for British Airways. ‘Rob is happiest when he is inspiring children,’ says Alistair. ‘He has been to address assemblies at both Hotham School in Putney and Sheen Mount in East Sheen and I have never seen so many school children so enthralled. A Hotham parent even organised for a group of children, parents and the head teacher to run with Rob.’


‘My aim is to have exceeded the world record at this year’s London Marathon in April,’ Rob tells me and I get the feeling he has his sights on more world records. Rob Young has overcome tremendous adversity and become an inspirational force making a difference to thousands of lives through his fundraising efforts and motivational speaking. As a child he was a survivor. As a man, he is an inspiration. Now he is making history. t&l


Read about Rob’s visit to Hotham Primary School and his dream to build boarding schools for orphaned children www.timeandleisure.co.uk/marathonmanuk Donate to Rob at www.marathonmanuk.co.uk www.marathonmanuk.co.uk


timeandleisure.co.uk . January 2015 . 13


By 1 January, Rob will have completed 258 marathons


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