A RUNNER put his body to the test over 29 miles to raise money for the “selfless” friend he met in hospital.

Christopher Holden, 37, died last week after a battle with a rare lung condition but had set up a fundraising page to provide for his family before he passed.

While in hospital, the father of three met salesman Jay Kenny who was struggling with a mystery illness which had taken away the use of his legs.

Mr Kenny, who has now recovered from the condition after months of struggle, said the aid of his friend helped him to get through his time in hospital.

After he heard of Mr Holden’s death, he decided to add to the pot of money by doing a sponsored run.

The Bolton News:

However, rather than five or ten kilometres, the amateur boxer chose to travel the length of the East Lancs Road from Manchester to Liverpool - a massive 29 miles.

“I feel incredibly lucky to be running 29 miles in honour of a man that was selfless, funny and helped me last year when I was in hospital with him,” he said.

“He was brilliant, he was amazing with me and I had no idea the extent of his illness. He would always be messaging me and asking how I was.”

The pair came up with the idea together, while texting each other just hours before Mr Holden’s death.

He had sent a link to his fundraising page over Mr Kenny and his friend joked that he would try to run the marathon distance.

But, when he found out about the tragic death, he decided that he had to complete the challenge and was able to finish it on Sunday, July 7, in four hours and 40 minutes.

“We had joked about it but I really wanted to do something to raise money,” he said in the run-up to his challenge.

“I feel a little overwhelmed myself but if I had to walk it at points I will.”

The campaign to raise money for Mr Holden and his family has so far reached more than £3,000 - two-thirds of the final target.

Before he died, the 37-year-old, whose funeral was set to take place yesterday, set up a fundraising page on justgiving.com.

He also used the opportunity to warn other people about the importance of having life insurance and raise awareness of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the condition which he had.

Donate to the fund in aid of Mr Holden’s family here.