A KEEN runner has raised over £1,000 for the North East Autism Society (NEAS) after taking on one of Europe’s most scenic marathons.

Barnaby Howard, originally from Durham but now living and working in Switzerland, crossed the finish line of the Geneva Marathon on Sunday 5th May, and has raised a total of £1,253 so far for NEAS’ services.

A keen runner, Barnaby has previously completed 10k races in Newcastle, and Valencia, Spain, but had never run a marathon before.

 Barnaby said:

It’s been quite the adventure along the way. It felt surreal. My legs were on fire, but the sense of accomplishment was unreal.

The Geneva Marathon is argued to be one of Europe’s most scenic city marathons, and Barnaby achieved a time of 3 hours and 51 minutes when he crossed the finish line over the Rhône river. 

Barnaby was inspired to fundraise for NEAS by his autistic younger brother, who has benefitted from support to access short breaks at New Warlands Farm in County Durham.

Smashing his original fundraising target of £500, Barnaby has nearly tripled his goal, and said:

“This has been my first charity fundraiser and I have been pleasantly surprised again and again by the generosity of those contributing.

“I never imagined so much money would be raised. Thank you to everyone who has donated.”

Jon Appleton, Events and Fundraising Officer at NEAS, said: “We’re so grateful for Barnaby’s support, it’s incredible that he has chosen to support us by raising funds for NEAS with his first marathon.

“It’s an amazing achievement and will directly benefit autistic people and their families here in the North East.”

Anyone who would like to donate to support Barnaby’s fundraising efforts can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/page/genevamarathon

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