Dad runs races with daughter, 2, on his back and even manages to complete half marathon

A dad says he’s built a special bond with his two-year-old daughter after running a series of long distance races with her strapped to his back.

Chris Greenbank, 36, a stonemason from Stockport, Greater Manchester, even managed to complete a half marathon carrying the youngster in a special hiking carrier.

The single father, who has suffered from bouts of anxiety in the past, has been raising money for mental health support group Project 23.

The group, which helps people with anxiety and mental health problems, was set up by Chris’s friend Mark Sproston after he suffered a personal tragedy.

Chris and his daughter’s latest race, Runnorthwest’s festive 10k in Cheshire, was the pair’s fourth – and he says, possibly their last, as the tot may be too heavy in Spring , reports Manchester Evening News.

Chris wore a Christmas jumper and his daughter, who he’s asked not to name, wore a Santa hat, while fellow runners also donned festive gear, among them a Grinch costume.

Speaking at the race he said: “(My daughter) loved it and was chatting to everyone. Everybody was dressed up for Christmas and we are well in the Christmas mood now. We were trying to chase the Grinch for the rest of the race.”

Chris said he had been a little worried if the weather would be too chilly for his daughter.

“I’ve been thinking about this a lot, getting parent guilt, but then thinking, provided she’s wrapped up, how is it any worse than when kids are taken out to play in the snow, temperature wise? I wanted to get us both a festive, Christmas medal before it gets too cold.”

He added: “We have four medals now and we have run 51km in total.”

In October Chris took just under three hours to complete the Manchester Half Marathon with his daughter on his back.

The dad says his little girl rested her hand on his shoulder and kept it there for the whole duration of the run, which took place in Trafford. He said: “Our bond isn’t something you can even put into words. My heart is full.”

Chris, who says exercise is an important part of positive mental health, believes there should be no reason why people can’t exercise because they have kids.

He said: “I don’t like sacrificing my time with her to do the things I enjoy, so I take her with me running along the canal.”

The pair also ran the Wilmslow 10k in July this year and Chester Zoo 10k in October. Chris says of his tot: “She loves it, they are like mini adventures.”

Speaking about his fundraising, he said: “The funds are to go towards helping people who are struggling mentally, or going through financial hardship. I just want to help to make a huge impact.”

Chris is also a member of Unbreakable Mindset Academy, an organisation formed by mindset coaches, who help struggling people to reset their thought process and give them helpful tools and strategies to help navigate life.