A 19-year-old student has raised more than £4,500 for a children’s charity in memory of his late girlfriend.
Cameron Newton completed the 50km Ultra Challenge in the Lake District to raise cash for the NSPCC, a cause close to the heart of Frankie Bugliarello, who died in a crash on the A534 Haslington bypass last June.
The gruelling challenge saw him take on more than 31 miles of steep and uneven terrain – an incredible feat for the young football player who had only previously ran 10km.
Mr Newton, of Sandbach, who has a sports scholarship at Northern Kentucky University near Cincinnati in the US, said: “At Frankie’s funeral, there were donations that went to the NSPCC and I thought it would be nice to carry that on. She had planned to study social care at university. I wanted to try and fulfil a little bit of what she wanted to do.”
He said he decided to take on the ultra-challenge after hearing about it from his cousin, Tom Beaumont, who is “obsessed” with running.
Mr Newton had spent the first half of the year playing football in America, where he also studies geography and economics, so only had May and the start of June to train.
“I wanted to do something that was tough, but when I started training, I would be out of action for three or four days after a run because my legs would be in pieces!” said Mr Newton.
“At one point I was thinking – will I be able to do it? It didn’t really dawn on me until the night before that I had all of this money raised and I might not complete it. If your legs give way, no matter how determined you are, you can’t move. But I got there in the end!
“The surface in the Lake District is so uneven and you’re going over on your ankle all the time. As long as my legs held together, I knew I could drag myself through it, which I did, luckily.
“There were some nice views, but I think there was too much pain to enjoy them. At the end, I was buzzing. It was a great feeling. Even for a few days after it, I was on a high.”
Mr Newton had not set out to raise the amount he did and was surprised to have brought in so many donations over just four days.
He said: “I was originally doing it because I wanted to do something on the first anniversary of the collision. I never really planned on raising money. I was thinking I might get £1,000, but my dad put the target up as £2,500. Within the first night, I broke that.
“I was shocked by how much I was able to raise in four days of fundraising.”
In a fortnight, Mr Newton will return to America for the second half of his first year at the Northern Kentucky University.
Becky Bugliarello, Frankie’s mum, said: “We are super proud of Cameron. To have done this on the anniversary of Frankie’s death meant so much to us.
“Frankie’s aspiration was to be a social worker so she would have been working closely with children. It meant so much that he chose to raise money for the NSPCC.”
To donate to the fund-raiser go to justgiving.com.