AN ANDOVER dad and his friend will take on a mammoth challenge as they continue on their mission to raise funds for good causes.

Geoff Barnes’s daughter Georgie was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome at four-months-old - a rare and severely disabling type of epilepsy - and had to endure prolonged seizures and take an array of medication.

But after a period of tough times for the family, Georgie went through six months without a seizure, however at the age of three she died on November 24, 2017, of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

Now this year Geoff, 36, and friend Tim Ellams have been raising funds for Adventure Pre-School, which looked after Georgie, along with Naomi House and the charity Dravet Syndrome UK.

And on the weekend of October 5 the pair will take on their biggest challenge to date by running five marathons each over three days - finishing on what would have been Georgie’s fourth birthday.

“We are going to run laps of the Andover Athletics track and it will be over 1,000 laps,” Geoff said.

“It is an endurance challenge but it is mentally and physically challenging, it is going to be very different from what we have done before.”

The friends will each run for an hour and then swap in a bid to complete 10k in an hour before going for a rest and then coming back to complete the next section.

Between them the pair will run 262 miles and complete 10 marathons, with the support of friends and family, including Geoff’s wife Gemma and daughter Gracie, along with town groups cheering on at the sidelines.

Speaking about the fears of his family when taking on the mission, Geoff said: “Of course, my family are concerned. This challenge is a lot of miles. Losing Georgie has given us all a different outlook on life. When you go through something like that it kind of sticks with you.”

To help with the event, Abacus Vehicle Hire has lent the pair a motorhome for them to rest in and local businesses are getting involved to make the challenge into a family event.

During the weekend, there will be fun for old and young, including a static falconry display and bouncy castle from 9am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. It is also hoped there will be a 1k and 2k race fun run on Sunday.

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