Harrogate PC set to retire and give the ‘gift of life’ through 120 challenges

Graham Wilson  and Tilly
Graham Wilson and Tilly

A Harrogate PC who is preparing to retire after three decades of service will undertake a mammoth challenge with his family and beloved dog, in aid of 15 charities and help give thousands the ‘gift of life.’

Graham Wilson has served across the county during his time with North Yorkshire Police, spending the last 10 years in Harrogate on NYP’S Community Neighbourhood Teams.
While he will officially retire next year PC Wilson is planning to walk a total of 3,180 miles, taking part in 120 marathons across the UK and Europe with an aim to raise £500,000 for charity. This will also see him establish his own charity, 120 Marathon Man.

During his time in the force PC Wilson said his stand out moment was performing CPR on a man who collapsed in the centre of Harrogate.

Although he later died PC Wilson said it gave the man’s family and friends more time to say goodbye, and that he would never forget giving him ‘the gift of life.’

He said: “I think anything like that stays with you, I know we talk about the action and everyday things that the police do, but this is also what we are here for.
“You don’t get any better than that, being able to give someone the gift of life. It’s probably the most rewarding thing I ever did, you can’t do anymore.
“He passed away some days later, but it meant his parents and friends were able to have more time with him.”

When both PC Wilson and his wife, Marrion began to plan how they could spend their retirement they decided it could be their last chance to do something special to support numerous charities that are close to their hearts.

He said: “What we are trying to do is get thousands and thousands of people, who don’t know us, to also give the gift of life to thousands of other people.
“If we could raise £150,000 for Macmillan out of the £500,000 that could pay for a nurse for three years.”

The challenge will see them start off from Yorkshire in March, 2, 2020, for the 120 marathons. Walking and running across England, Wales, Ireland, France and further afield, Graham and Marrion won’t be leaving behind their two-year old Poochon, Tilly. While they will be aiming to hit 26 miles a day, Tilly will be restricted to a short stretch of four.

Among the charities being supported through Graham’s challenge will be, Macmillan Cancer Support, The Police Treatment Centre, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, the Harrogate Homeless Project and Living with CAH.

The final charity has a special link to the couple as their 24-year old daughter, Becks, was born with the rare condition, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.

The Harrogate Town AFC Ladies Club player has received ‘fantastic support’ from the charity, says Graham. All funds that are raised through his fund-raising push will go towards the charities.

He said: “It does feel like I am walking from one career to another, with four months of contemplation while I am doing this.
“But this is all self-funded, and any of the £500,000 we are aiming to raise will go towards these different charities.”

To find our more visit WWW.120marathonman.org