A SCHOOLBOY is aiming to run a total of 100 miles for the month of July in aid of a good cause.

Thomas Gornall, from East Linton, originally planned to run 100 kilometres but, after meeting his target last week, he decided to challenge himself and upped the distance to 100 miles, an extra 61 kilometres.

He is taking on the challenge in aid of East Lothian Sunday Fresh Chicken Dinner Boxes, which is in the process of becoming a charity.

The 11-year-old, who begins primary seven at East Linton Primary School in August, started the challenge on July 1 and completes his last run today (Friday).

He set himself the target and, according to mum Laura, a technical services manager at Pure Malt Products in Haddington, it has helped keep him occupied during lockdown.

Laura, who is also mum to East Linton Primary P3 pupil Violet, said: “With the kids being in lockdown since March and my husband and I both working from home, doing his runs has kept him busy and kept his fitness up.

“He was just doing that and then July rolled around and he decided to try and keep running every day and help people in need.

“He loves challenging himself and pushes himself to go faster each time. I don’t know if it is because my brother [Jonathan Poole, a previous Great Britain runner] is a runner down in London [at Serpentine Running Club] and Thomas has always looked up to him.”

Thomas started this week having run 130 kilometres and was confident he would be able to complete the distance.

Thomas said the challenge had been “brilliant” and “really good” so far but admitted that he had struggled at times.

He added: “I’m willing to do as much as I can.”

Thomas has completed most of his runs in the afternoon or evening, averaging about four miles a day.

He does, however, vary his distances each to keep his interest and has completed two 10-kilometre runs during his challenge.

He is a sporty youngster, also playing tennis, going cycling with dad Stephen and having an interest in basketball.

Laura said: “I think lockdown has been quite good for him. If he was still at school he would have never got into this [the family were also due to go abroad this summer].

“It’s given him something to focus on and it has built his confidence. I’m proud of him.

“It’s also a bit different from something academic.”

On why he decided to do the challenge in aid of the dinner boxes project, Laura said: “I’ve been following the dinner boxes on Facebook since February as it looked really interesting.

“I’ve always thought if we can raise a bit of money for them we can see it’s going towards a local cause and the local community, unlike a big organisation where you don’t know where the money is going sometimes. It is also a cause close to our hearts.

“If Thomas does some fundraising and raises awareness then that is great.”

An initial fundraising amount of £180 was set, which would pay for 20 dinner boxes.

Laura said: “I didn’t want to set it too high as I didn’t want to put pressure on Thomas, I wanted it to be achievable.

“I also didn’t want to pressure people to give money and if they want to contribute they can.”

However, more than £500 has been raised so far, with Laura amazed at the generosity people have shown, describing it as “overwhelming”.

To donate, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thomas-gornall