A DAD-of-five is set to run around Orford Park for 24 hours in memory of his own father on what would have been his 75th birthday.

Christopher Ball has marked his dad Derek’s birthday with an epic running challenge every year since he died in December 2014.

On what would have been his dad’s 73rd birthday, Chris completed 73 one-mile loops of Orford Park while last year he ran 74 miles from Llandudno, Derek’s favourite place, to mark his 74th birthday.

This year the 49-year-old is taking on his biggest challenge yet by running for 24 consecutive hours in Orford Park, and is inviting other members of the public to take part in his day-long jog – in which time he is hoping to cover 120 miles.

Orford resident Chris said: “My family all think I’m loopy and my mum thinks I’m a confused hamster who likes running around in circles.

“The first year we did 73 miles before doing Llandudno last year, and someone jokingly said what’s wrong with running the rest of the day – I said I’ll do it next year and I might as well stick to it.”

Chris’ previous two birthday runs have raised around £4,000 for the MS Society, with Derek having suffered from multiple sclerosis for more than 30 years.

He is now inviting community groups, sports teams and charities to get involved in his Legacy Run to raise money for their own causes by jogging their own distances alongside him.

His own challenge will begin at 10am on Sunday, August 13, and will run until 10am on Monday, August 14 – what would have been Derek’s 75th birthday.

Dozens of charitable runners have already signed up to take part, including luncheon clubs and Cheshire Police officers who have volunteered to jog alongside Chris during the night to keep him safe.

Chris, of Alder Crescent, added: “It doesn’t matter if it’s a dance group, a bingo group or just somebody who, like myself, wants to say thank you for any help they’ve received.

“Even if it’s just a mile, everything counts and I think so far we’ve got 41 people who’ve said they’re going to come down just through word of mouth.

“It’d be nice if each group could have something out of this in my dad’s name and I just think it’s something that can grow year in, year out.

“My dad always encouraged me and always said ‘how do you know you can’t do it if you don’t try it?’.

“That’s what I’ve been pushing and he’d love knowing that this was happening.”

A registration night for interested runners will take place at the Orford Community Hub on Festival Avenue at 6.30pm on Tuesday, July 4.

For more information call 07824087395.