It's not unusual to run marathons for charity, but 32-year-old Mark Vaz is taking it to a whole new level - he's running 90 marathons in 90 days for Tommy's, the baby and pregnancy charity. Kicking off on Tuesday 7th July, Mark will smash the world record for the most marathons run in consecutive days in Britain if he completes the challenge, which currently stands at 53.
The cause is one close to Mark's heart, as he and his wife Tammy have tragically suffered seven miscarriages together. After running on and off since his teenage years, Mark found himself putting on weight from the trauma of his situation, but chose to turn things around.
"Last year when we suffered our sixth miscarriage, I decided enough was enough. I could either have stayed how I was and gain weight or do something about it, so I decided to take up running again - this time with a purpose. I'm a long distance runner, so I set myself the goal to run from Lands’ End to John o' Groats next year."
"Then I said to myself 'I want to do something else sooner.' At each miscarriage, there was never any support from professionals whatsoever. I decided this had to change and that's the reason I set about a challenge of 90 marathons in 90 days."
Incredibly, Mark, who lives near Stafford, is continuing work as a window cleaner throughout the challenge, saying "I'll be going about that during the day as normal then do my runs later."
"When the days get the hardest, I will think of pain we went through during our most recent miscarriage. We went for a scan at seven weeks and saw a heartbeat - obviously, we were delighted. Two weeks went by and we thought of names, then at our nine-week scan there was no heartbeat, which was devastating. That was back in May, and I was very close to just quitting the marathon challenge, but decided 'no chance I'm quitting, I've come too far.'"
Tommy's funds research into the prevention of miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth, and offers information to people who experience them.