A LOCHWINNOCH man who completed a marathon charity challenge has told of his joy after raising more than £15,000.

John Delaney tackled three marathons in North America in the space of a few weeks to coin in cash for St Vincent’s Hospice and two other charities close to his heart.

His venture took him to the Chicago Marathon in October, before crossing the border into Canada to pound the streets of Toronto the following week and then going on the run in New York at the start of this month for the final leg.

John was joined every step of the way by mascot ‘Wee Andy,’ who became a huge hit with fellow runners from across the world.

The Gazette: John is pictured in Chicago with 'Wee Andy' John is pictured in Chicago with 'Wee Andy'

“I am quite proud of myself,” John told The Gazette. “I did the London Marathon last year and I remember saying to myself that the only way I could better that was by doing the New York City Marathon.

“Wee Andy got quite a lot attention. It’s fair to say we stood out.

“As we were running, people were waving at him all along the route.

“He got a big reaction in Chicago and so many people were saying how ‘awesome’ he was. Everyone just took to him.”

John, 62, was keen to raise much-needed funds for St Vincent’s as his father-in-law Tom Reid was admitted to the Howwood-based hospice in 1998 and, since then, a number of friends have also received end-of-life care there.

READ MORE: John Delaney gets carried away with lucky mascot at US marathons

He also raised money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and It’s Good 2 Give, which supports young cancer patients and their families in Scotland.

With donations still pouring in, he reckons his efforts have raised £5,000 for each of the causes.

John received the MBE in 2017 after generating £500,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

His massive fundraising drive was inspired by his son Andrew, who lost his life to the illness in 2003, aged just 15.

The Gazette: John in New York with his wife Rosemarie John in New York with his wife Rosemarie

John was joined stateside for his latest series of challenges by his wife Rosemarie.

“She saw to my every need, including cutting my blisters,” said John. “I couldn’t have done it without her. She is the real star of the show.

“It has been a manic three weeks and it feels like I’ve been on the go the whole time.”

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