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The University of Southampton

Astrophysicist takes on marathon challenge closer to home

Published: 18 April 2024
Man stood with woman in wheelchair
Dr Phil Wiseman with his mum Ann Wiseman after the Brighton Marathon in 2019

Southampton astrophysicist Dr Phil Wiseman is taking on seven marathons in seven days this week, running from Gloucestershire to London via Hampshire.

His challenge will end with the London Marathon on Sunday 21 April.

Dr Wiseman, Research Fellow in Astrophysics at the University of Southampton whose work on the largest cosmic explosion ever witnessed hit the headlines last year, is raising money for the MS Society in honour of his mum Ann, who has the condition.

He set off from his childhood home, where his parents still live, near Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, at 9am today [Monday 15 April] and will be running 42 kilometres every day for seven days on a route that will take him to Hampshire and then to London.

Dr Wiseman, 31 and from Chandler’s Ford, will wear a different outfit every day, chosen by his highest sponsors. His outfits include a pink Miss Piggy tutu, lederhosen, a rainbow tutu, and the rugby kit of Van Mildert College at Durham University, where he studied as an undergraduate.

Man smiling wearing sunglasses and bandanna
Dr Phil Wiseman testing out his lederhosen running outfit

He said: “My mum’s progressive MS was diagnosed almost 20 years ago and, with this year being her 65th birthday, I wanted to take on a significant challenge to raise money and awareness of multiple sclerosis.

“I have run marathons before, so it needed to be something bigger than that. I just hope I can make it through seven days back-to-back!”

The route Dr Wiseman will follow has been carefully planned to take in places of meaning to him, including his childhood home in Gloucestershire, Southampton where his parents met in the late '70s as University of Southampton students, his current home in Chandler’s Ford, and Sutton in South London where his mum grew up.

He will be joined by members of his running club, the Chandler’s Ford Swifts, as his route passes through the area on Thursday 18 April.

Dr Wiseman has set up a fundraising page to collect sponsorship in aid of the MS Society.

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