Taylor Prescott admits that a determination to make his late father proud has driven him to embark on the toughest challenge of his life.
The 19-year-old will next month attempt to run 100 miles in just 48 hours - day and night - in a huge fundraising effort for the Steve Prescott Foundation, the charity set up by his rugby legend dad Steve before his death in 2013.
“I think about my dad every day, and most times of the day to be honest,” said Taylor, who last summer ran seven ultra-marathons in seven days to ensure the SPF’s vital fundraising work could continue through lockdown.
“I know what he did when he was here and how brave he was. How he pushed through everything that went against him. That pushes me through and having him in my thoughts will push me through my next challenge.
“My dad got people running, and The Steve Prescott Foundation has got a lot of people active and I’m very proud of that.
“I hope he’s proud of me now. I hope he’s as proud of me as I am of him.”
Rugby league great Steve starred for St Helens, Hull FC and Wakefield, before taking on a series of incredible challenges after being diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2006. Despite being given just months to live, Steve set up the SPF to raise funds for The Christie cancer hospital and the RFL Benevolent Fund, and his superhuman feats of endurance while terminally ill raised almost half a million pounds before his death seven years later.
“To me he was just my dad’ says Taylor. “Other people see him in other ways, but to me he was just my dad.
“Obviously I’m going to want to carry his legacy on so everybody else is still inspired by what he did.”
With all the SPF’s major events curtailed by covid last year, Taylor is desperate to ensure the Rugby League Benevolent Fund and The Christie continue to receive funding to help save lives, and is drawing on his dad’s legendary spirit for this epic endurance bid of his own.
The #100in48 bid will see Prescott run 100 miles in 16 blocks of 10kms, day and night from May 14 to 16, with the public invited to join in groups of five.
“I was trying to think of a challenge that is tougher than anything I have done previously, and this is as close as I could get” adds Taylor who received an anonymous donation of £15k to conceive a challenge that would test mind, body and soul to the limit.
“I definitely think this is going to be the toughest challenge I have taken on. It will be tougher than last year’s seven ultras in seven days, it is definitely going to be challenging and I am going to need as much support as I can get.
“I think the hardest moments will be the graveyard shifts through the night. I’ve had a lot of people supporting me and offering to run the night shifts with me so that is very helpful as well.”
Taylor’s challenge will again be backed by elite St Helens athlete Matt Crehan and his shop “Made to Run”, with further support from local businesses Croppers Bakery, Paramount Digital, Imperial Quarter, Handepay, Creative Concrete, Cleanhire and Fleetsmart.
The #100in48 will start at Ruskin Sports and Leisure at 7pm on Friday 14th May and you can support the extraordinary fundraising effort here.