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Virgin Radio host Jeff Kelly lacing up for Chicago Marathon to change kids’ lives one stride at a time

When Jeff Kelly isn’t hosting the ‘Jeff and Laura with Backstage Ben’ morning show on Virgin Radio, he’s busy getting ready for the race of his life.

He'll be running the Chicago Marathon this October, taking part in the Marathon for Mentoring in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters, in an effort to get kids off the wait list.

So far he’s raised just under $20,000.

"At 1,500 per match, that covers essentially 12 month match with a big and a little, it's everything from them going out to doing new adventures, to give that little some adventures in life that they otherwise wouldn’t have,” said Kelly.

The chartable organization said they wouldn't be able to provide their services without the support from the public.

Virgin Radio host Jeff Kelly is seen in September of 2023 in London, Ont. (Reta Ismail/CTV News London)

"Research shows that youth who have access to mentoring relationships, have stronger outcomes in terms of mental health, in terms of self-esteem, in terms of confidence, and ultimately in terms of their trajectory long term,” the organization said.

Jeff has been training since May, and said the journey has been both physically and mentally challenging.

"I’d say almost more emotional, than body wise. Once you get your body all trained up, and you get in shape you can kind of do a lot, until your brain tells you to stop. Or some injuries get in the way, I’ve discovered my right hip is not loving all this right now,” said Kelly.

Kim Tetley, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters London is seen in London, Ont. (Reta Ismail/CTV News London) Although he doesn't like to refer to himself as a marathon runner, this isn’t his first marathon.

"Training in 2023 is mind-blowingly different than it was 10 years ago, from the show technology to the clothing you wear, to even the gel packs, or the various fuels you intake when you run. They taste good, they work, [and] your body is less sore after the fact,” he explained.

For information on how you can volunteer or make a donation, you can visit the London Big Brothers Big Sisters website Top Stories

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