Richard: “For my 11th birthday I got my fingers broken with a hammer.”

By Alana Roberts

Richard was physically and mentally abused as a child. After a horrific childhood, however, the 34-year-old from North Sheffield says his love for his daughter has helped him turn his life around.

“As a child the injuries I sustained from someone very close to me were frequent and serious; burns, broken ribs, broken limbs.

“For my 11th birthday I was told to put both my hands on the table and got each finger broken with a hammer,” he says.

“I just wasn’t wanted.”

Weighing 20 stone in 2012, out of shape and unfit, his three-year-old daughter told him he was fat. He says this was the honest truth he needed to make a change so he started running.

He credits the running for saving his life.”For me it was my own personal recovery. I managed to come out of it a better person, get rid of my demons and help other people.”

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Known as the ‘Mohican Runner’ due to his unusual style, he definitely stands out – which is a benefit for his chosen charities as he is a magnet for photographers.

He says every tattoo has a reason.

“When I was young I was lucky if I came home and didn’t get hurt. I’ve got tattoos to cover up all the scars.”

Since starting running he has managed to raise over £1.3 million for the NSPCC and shows no signs of stopping.

Richard is a Lego designer by day and even created his own ‘Mohican Runner’ figure  to raise even more money for the charity.

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The Lego character had every one of Richard’s tattoos!

He constantly sets himself new challenges.

“If someone says to me you can’t do something, I will go out to prove them I damn well can.”

Richard has run thousands of races, and plans on winning more. At the moment he trains six nights a week, and is in a good place thanks to the running.

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“Take running away from me and I’m not a happy person,” he says.

And here’s what happened when running came to Sheffield.. in the form of the Yorkshire half marathon!

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