Jack Dowling has completed his challenge of running 26 marathons in 26 weeks to raise money for MacMillan.

The Everton first team fitness coach started this challenge after his brother Tom, who died in March, was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Reflecting on his final marathon, which was the London Marathon, Dowling spoke on the physical and mental battles he faced.

“Yeah, physically I feel good, legs are a bit tired, but I’ve got used to it in the end – looking forward to a rest!

“Mentally I feel good – it’s obviously been a tough last few weeks with Tom not being there and being able to support with us after he passed away.

“So mentally that was tough but it’s been a sense of pride as well making sure I completed the challenge for Tom as well.

“One of the main reasons we did this challenge to distract Tom from what he was going through. It’s what has kept me going.”

He smashed his initial goal he set out to achieve by raising more than £72,000 for Macmillan.

The money will fund two Macmillan Cancer Support Nurses for 26 weeks.

He added: “Very overwhelmed – it’s unbelievable what we’ve got to and what the money can do for Macmillan and families it can support that are affected by cancer as well.

“Unbelievable really, very overwhelmed and cannot thank everyone enough.

“Making sure they are aware of what MacMillan provides and what they can do is what has kept me going over the last few weeks.

“Making sure that I complete this challenge because we can help support one more family – even though Tom’s passed away if we can help support another family going through their cancer journey then it’s amazing.”

Throughout his journey, he had messages of support from high profile football names including Everton legends Peter Reid and Neville Southall.

His Everton colleagues often turned up and cheered him on and joined him on some of his runs.

With even some of the Everton first team turning up to join him along the way in some of his marathons.

“It’s meant the world – I’ve made sure I’ve said thank you to everyone that’s joined me – either running, sending messages, wishing me luck, asking me how I’m getting on – it’s meant the world to me.

“It always keeps me going especially when you’ve got high profile people wishing you on as well – it’s surreal but great feeling.”

Throughout his challenge, he states how Everton have been very supportive and have played their part in raising awareness for his challenge.

In Everton’s recent 2-0 victory against Liverpool in the 244th Merseyside derby, he was brought out onto the pitch prior to kick off to receive his plaudits from both sides of Merseyside.

“They’ve been fantastic all the way through supporting me and my family asking me how I’m getting on – pushing the challenge out there making sure people understand the message and why we’re doing it.

“Big support around the family as well when Tom passed away. I can’t thank Everton enough but also Liverpool as well and the fans of Everton and Liverpool as well.”

You can still donate to Jack Dowling’s cause here:


(Featured image courtesy of @project26_26 on X)