Six year-old Alessandro’s amazing charity run for Team Verrico

A determined six year-old boy from Epworth, who lost his mum to breast cancer in 2013, continues to clock up his own running records.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 9:09 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 10:09 am
Alessandro Verrico, six, who has completed his 16th Park run, with his father Paul

Alessandro Verrico’s mum, Anna, sadly lost her life to breast cancer when the youngster was just a year old, but Allesandro who is now six years-old has just celebrated his 16th Park run with an incredible fundraising effort.

Allesandro’s mum Anna was a district level athlete and Alessandro has always wanted to make his mum proud.

On Saturday May 11 2019, Ally, as he is known, had set himself a target of running the three mile Normanby Hall Parkrun course in under 25 minutes – which would roughly see him placed in the top 50 runners taking part in the event.

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He had been practicing with his dad, Paul, and his sister, Lucia, for nearly a year to prepare for the huge endeavour for a six year-old, with his times slowly reducing from 30 minutes downwards.

The night before the event took place, a justgiving page was opened for the family’s charity, Team Verrico, which helps young parents and children dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The fundraising target they had set themselves was a modest £50.

By the time Alessandro completed his effort with a lung busting personal best time of 23 minutes and 38 seconds, the effort had managed to net the charity an amazing £1,600 – which was around 3,500 percent above the target they had set.

Dad, Paul Verrico, said this phenomenal sum would support four bereaved children through individual face to face counselling programmes where a parent has been lost to cancer.

The hero of the hour, Alessandro, said after he had completed his run: “I wanted to make my mummy proud. I always think about her when I run and I am sad that she never got to see me with trainers on.”

Allesandro added: “I wanted to be like ‘The Flash’ and I think I did good today. Thank you to everyone who has given money to Team Verrico to help other people.”

Dad Paul added: “It was really strange – Ally is a really outgoing child, but on Saturday morning he was quiet, focused and really concentrated on his challenge. Most adults struggle to run under 24 minutes over five kilometres, so it was quite incredible to see him finish in the top 40 runners at the event. I’m obviously incredibly proud of him – although I struggle to keep up now! I can confirm that the theme for his birthday party is ‘superheroes’ and I have bought him his own ‘The Flash’ outfit as a present. Well done to Alessandro.” Alessandro can still be sponsored by visiting the site.