Dad runs all town's 644 streets for cancer

Published on: Friday, 13th October 2023
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Ian and son in law Oliver

A big-hearted dad is taking photos of street signs and posting them on the web – as he runs down all 644 roads in Ilkeston to raise money for cancer research.

Ian Jackson reckons he and son-in-law Oliver Finch will have covered almost 100 miles when they complete their Ilkeston feat.

Their initial goal was to raise £644 – a quid for every street – but half-way through have almost hit the target already. They now hope to top £1,000.

The pair set out from The Copse three weeks ago and are being cheered on by waving townsfolk. They plan to end their challenge with a grand run down Heanor Road and up Bath Street to the town’s Market Place.

56 year old warehouse worker Ian, who has previously taken part in the London Marathon, said: “The date for this final leg is yet to be confirmed. Google tells me there are 644 streets in Ilkeston. So far we have completed more than half – and are running three times a week.

“We did the Shipley View estate in one go – running up every cul-de-sac. People think we are mad!”

Oliver works in a games shop.  The 38 year old is married to Ian’s daughter Katie. The two men estimate they have just over a fortnight to go – having completed every street in Ilkeston’s sprawling Kirk Hallam estate.

Money raised will go to Ben’s Den – a local charity offering holiday breaks to sick children and their families – and Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Ian said: “We have lost two good friends to this awful disease over the last few years so it is a cause very dear to our hearts.”

Erewash Borough Council, which has launched a drive to get its residents fitter, saluted the men as shining examples. 

Councillor Claire Marie Poole – the council’s Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing – said: “We wish Ian and Oliver every success in completing their challenge. I urge the people of Ilkeston: Don’t forget to give them a wave when they come to a street near you.”

Fundraising runs in Ian’s family. Following the 1988 death of his mum Val, his late father Keith helped launch a crusade to raise money for a scanner at Ilkeston Community Hospital.

It brought in £80,000 for what became known as the Val Jackson Scanner Suite. Ian said: “There is a plaque on the wall, which is an amazing legacy from my parents.”

To keep up with Ian and Oliver’s progress – and to see their street sign photos – visit their Run Ilson Facebook page. To donate, click here.

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