A KENDAL man has taken on the challenge of running every day in 2018, in order to raise awareness of a rare muscle-wasting condition that affects the son of a close friend.

Seven-year-old Greg Savage was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in September 2015 at the age of just 5. The condition causes muscles to weaken, stiffen and waste over time, leading to increasing disability. There is currently no cure.

Simon Blunden, 37, of Burneside Road, a long-term friend of Greg’s parents, has set his sights on running more than 2,000 miles over the 12-month period, an average of 5.5 miles each day, to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Duchenne Research Breakthrough Fund.

He has a target to raise £5,000.

“I didn't plan to do this challenge from the very start," said Mr Blunden, who works as an architect. "It began as R.E.D. (run every day) January for a personal challenge. The long, dark, wet days were tough but when the 1st of February arrived, I found I wanted to go for another run and wondered how far I could push it.

"So I am now aiming to run every day this year and I’m raising funds for essential research into this condition."

He officially launched his campaign, called RED4GREG, to get donations on April 10, the day of his 100th run of 2018.

Stuart Murray from Muscular Dystrophy UK’s said: “Life for children and young people living with Duchenne could be very different – research is at a critical stage.

"For every £170 raised, we can fund a full day of a scientist’s work developing potential treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

"Every day counts and we are so grateful to Simon for his unique challenge to make each day in 2018 an incredible opportunity to raise funds and awareness.”

You can follow the progress of Mr Blunden's year and find details of how to donate on Facebook by searching RED4GREG.