SCHOOLBOY William Arkwright has found a welcome way to distract himself during lockdown – by taking on a challenge to run a marathon in a month for Cancer Research UK.

William, 11, from Gifford, decided to set himself a fundraising challenge to help others and keep fit, and pledged to run 26.2miles before the end of June.

In just the first three days, he nearly reached the halfway mark by clocking up 12.8 miles.

The youngster takes to local paths to run and has been accompanied by mum Emily or a friend on a bicycle during his outings.

Emily said: “William wanted to do something which would help others and we decided to raise funds for Cancer Research UK because it is something which affects everyone.

“The challenge is a welcome distraction for him as lockdown continues, and he is enjoying it.”

William, who lives with parents Emily and Thomas Arkwright and younger sister Matilda, uses a tracking app while he runs, which records his routes and distances covered.

The youngster, who attends St Mary’s School, Melrose, clocked up more than seven miles on one trip, after he was joined by friend Henry on his bicycle to give him moral support.

And he is determined to meet his target, with more than £250 already donated to his cause.

To support William’s marathon run, go to