With websites such as Guess2Give underlining the need for fundraisers to become increasingly innovative to hit their targets, one runner has gone that extra step as he prepares for the Brathay 10 in 10. Paul Foster, 33, is hoping his 5ft cardboard cut-out of Jessica Ennis, complete with the Olympian's signature, will raise much needed funds for the Brathay Trust when it goes to auction on 22 May.
Paul, who completed the 10 in 10 last year, was looking for a novel way to meet his target of Â£2,750, and decided a signed cut-out would generate interest. He ended up driving to Kirkham in Lancashire and back, an eight hour round trip from his home near Edinburgh, to track down Jessica at a book signing event.
Paul, from Kelty near Edinburgh, told southernrunningguide.com: "I just hoped that she would be happy to sign a life-size picture of herself instead of a book. I literally tucked the cut-out under my arm and made a beeline for Jessica. When I told her what I was doing she happily signed over her abs and wished me the best of luck with my running."
Starting on 10 May, the Brathay event involves 10 marathons over 10 consecutive days around England's largest lake, Windermere. Described by renowned adventurer Bear Grylls as 'an epic challenge that will require an epic strength of mind', just 15 runners have committed to taking part in this year's 10 in 10.
The framed cut-out poster will be sold by Kevin Kendal of Eighteen Eighteen Auctioneers at 12:30 on Wednesday 22 May. Those who can't make the trip to the auction room on the Lancashire/Cumbria border will be able to bid live online, via a phone or by leaving bid instructions. For more details, visit the auctioneers website.