The story of how we decided to cross a county with just our running shoes started back in 2015. A group of us from the Berkshire Hash House Harriers decided to run the Two Inn Way. The route is actually a circular walk in the Yorkshire Dales but, as we’re always keen for a challenge, we decided to run it rather than walk. Across three days we ran 81 miles, and it was tough going. The terrain is hilly, even mountainous at times, and, unsurprisingly, we got very tired and wet. But we were elated when we finished, and eventually forgot all the pain and discomfort. So we decided that we would do something similar again.
So that’s how we found ourselves in Wembury, on the south coast of Devon on the 6th September 2017, about to run across the county to Lynmouth on the north coast. This time we set ourselves the ambitious challenge of running a total of 25 marathons over 5 days. To provide a more worthy purpose to this crazy idea, we thought that we should raise money for charity at the same time. A friend of ours, a keen cyclist, was diagnosed with Aplastic Anaemia, a serious blood disorder, several years ago and now needs a stem cell transplant. We wanted to show our support and decided that raising money for Anthony Nolan was the perfect way to do this.
There were 11 of us altogether, including the 9 runners and a support team. And it was lovely that we were a mix of ages – from 35 to 71. The whole route was 117 miles, including Dartmoor and Exmoor – very inhospitable places when it’s pouring with rain and blowing a gale, which it was when we crossed both moors! Add the hills, bogs and silage and the run was far from easy. However, we covered it in four and a half days, running between 17 and 29 miles a day. A few people had to sit out for a couple of days due to serious blister problems, but together we ran over 786 miles – equal to 30 marathons!
Through the tough times we kept ourselves going with thoughts of warm baths at the end of the day, hearty meals and a drink or two. We were a real team throughout; we knew that we couldn’t let each other, or Anthony Nolan, down. People had sponsored us to complete the challenge so we just couldn’t disappoint them. It was a great spur for us and helped us to keep going during the hard times.
With Gift Aid added in, we raised almost £3,000. We’re so proud to be able to do this for an exceptionally good cause. It’s amazing to know that we have contributed to the excellent work that Anthony Nolan does. In fact, the amount we raised could add another 47 potential lifesavers to the register, which is absolutely fantastic.
Take a look at how you can raise money and save lives like Veronica and Dave.