TRAINING for a marathon is the challenge of a lifetime for most people — but for Andy Hall, one was not enough.

Instead, the dad-of-two set himself the goal of running 12 marathons in a year in memory of his father, Bill Hall, who died of cancer.

Now he has completed the feat.

Andy — who now lives in Oxfordshire with his family — was born in Darcy Lever and grew up in Radcliffe until he left for university in 1998.

He managed to complete his first three marathons in the spring of 2013 but in July, the challenge took on a new significance when his father lost his battle with bladder cancer at the age of 66.

Despite the family’s grief, Andy carried on with his marathon mountain and completed the Manchester race on April 6.

Andy, aged 44, said: “When my dad died I did take a brief break but then I decided I wanted to carry on with it.

“I thought I had to finish it in his memory. I suppose it gave me something to take my mind off what had happened.

“My best friend had also lost his dad and he’d suffered with dementia for a long time so I wanted to do something for him, too.

“A lot of people have said I must be mad, but I think I’m just stubborn.”

Andy’s dad Bill had boxed for Bolton Lads and Girls Club as a boy and had ran the Bolton marathon twice in the early 1980s.

He was also a passionate Bolton Wanderers fan and a season ticket holder for 12 years.

He moved to Sandbach in Chesire with his wife Pat in 1991.

As a final tribute to his dad, Andy ran the original route of the Bolton marathon on April 19.

The former Mytham Primary School pupil added: “I can remember watching my dad running up Plodder Lane during the Bolton marathon.

“He found it really tough, actually.

“I wanted to do it as a final tribute to him. He was a lovely man and a massive Bolton Wanderers fan. It will have taken me a little bit longer than 12 months to complete them all but I have got there.

“I couldn’t have done all of this without the support of my wife Fran.”

Andy has raised more than £3,000 for Cancer Research UK, St Luke's Hospice in Cheshire and Dementia UK.

To sponsor him, go here.

Andy's 12 marathons

  • Flete (Devon) Coastal Trail Series
  • Cheltenham Circular Challenge
  • Wolverhampton Marathon
  • Bournemouth Marathon
  • Abingdon Marathon
  • Stratford-Upon-Avon
  • Portsmouth Marathon
  • Bromley Marathon
  • New Forest Heartbreaker
  • Made Ya Run, Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
  • London Marathon
  • Manchester Marathon