Harrogate inspirational 8-year-old runs 200 miles to prove autism can't hold you back

An eight-year-old boy with autism has bid to raise 'as much as he can' for the National Autistic Society by running 200 miles in April.

Thursday, 5th April 2018, 10:15 am
Updated Thursday, 5th April 2018, 10:21 am
Eight-year-old Harrison Morrell with his dad Darren, mum Amy, and younger sister Tilly (7). (1804034AM1)
Eight-year-old Harrison Morrell with his dad Darren, mum Amy, and younger sister Tilly (7). (1804034AM1)

Harrison Morrell, 8, from Darley, has been running 3.8 miles around Fewston reservoir with his dad, Darren, every morning.

His challenge is to run 200 miles by the end of April but - as Harrison's mum, Amy, explains - it's about much more than fundraising for this ambitious chap.

She said: "Harrison is an avid football player and he's incredibly talented. He really wants to raise awareness that just because you have autism doesn't mean you can't do things like every other child.

"He believes you can achieve whatever you want if you put your mind to it, and nothing should hold you back."

Amy said that Harrison was diagnosed with autism at the age of four, and that doctors told her he would never be placed in a mainstream school.

She said: "They said he would need support throughout his life, but Harrison hasn't given up, he's in a mainstream school and he's incredibly talented."

Harrison's dream is to become a professional football player, and since he trains with the junior Leeds United squad, he isn't a million miles away.

To reach his 200-mile goal Harrison has to run an average of 6.66 miles every day, but when asked how much his fundraising target is Harrison says he wants to raise as much as he can.

Harrison was inspired to start fundraising when he completed a triathlon for the National Autistic Society (NAS) last year.

This year when his 200-mile challenge is over, he'll be doing the triathlon again but this time, with his seven-year-old sister, Tilly, who is also autistic.

Amy said: "We are incredibly proud of Harrison, he's a fabulous little boy and he's a pleasure to be around."