Originally posted on Humans of Sheffield 22/3/2016
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.”
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.
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.
“Take running away from me and I’m not a happy person,” he says.