RUN4CHARITY INSANE UK CHARITY CHALLENGE AUGUST 2013
Well where do I start… and this is crying out for the answer….at the beginning…. Well go on then I will…
In late 2010 whilst sitting in the pub with friends, and I must add after a couple of drinks!! Well a lot!! We started discussing cycling and the benefits of such exercise on our health…, which was ironic as we sat there with beer in our hand stuffing our faces with peanuts and crisps!! Then someone shouted out ‘why don’t we cycle the English Coast to Coast’… Now for those who don’t know this it starts at St Bees and runs the width of England to Robin Hoods Bay. Approximately 180/200 miles (depending on the route you take)
Well at this point everyone became very eager and we started planning everything on beer mats whilst supping more and more beer…. Well this went on for a couple of hours with no really structure, and we got fairly drunk I must add to say, until eventually we all agreed to talk about it again when we where more sober… a lot sober.
I guess you’re thinking now they never did get back to arrange the challenge… well you would be right… nothing happened…. We all must of realised that it was far to much, I will point out now that it would mean that we ride 180/200 miles… which again I am guessing your thinking that should be no problem… well no its not but when you sit down and look at the state of at least two of the three grown men which were planning this ride then you might of changed your minds. Only at 32 years of age two of us where very overweight and had never really ridden a bike in years, probably since we where kids and one which to be fair was fairly fit and does ride…
Well as I said all went quiet, however it rattled around my head throughout 2010. I was determined that at some point I would do it with or without the other two. However I did have one stubbing block, as I mentioned earlier… My fitness. I weighed 15stone 7 lbs by Christmas 2010 and in no fit state to run up the stairs yet alone ride 190 miles… now I had run years before but lost motivation and gained appreciation for food. A lot of food…and weight… But come New Year 2010 I made a promise to my self that if I lost weight I would cycle the St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay. Well throughout 2011 I started eating healthier and started running again… which had an amazing affect, funny enough, in that I started losing weight and gained a new release of energy. By the end of 2011 I had lost 3stone 7 lbs… I felt great and looked so much better and was able to run around and play with my 2-year-old daughter a lot easier…(as she does run me silly sometimes with her energy levels)
Well I still had my thoughts of cycling the coast-to-coast by the end of 2011 and decided to do it for charity. Now at the time a little 2 year old local girl called Sadie Rose was battling a aggressive childhood cancer Neuroblastoma and needed treatment over in America, as the UK didn’t provide the treatment that she would need to defeat this horrible disease…This little girls fight and determination inspired me even more to do this challenge…. but unfortunately she lost her brave battle to this horrible disease on the 25th June 2012 and became a bright little star in the sky… However I was still adamant that I would do the challenge in memory of her.
Then came about the second charity that I decided to raise money for at the same time called SANDS – This is a charity to help parents and families with the loss of their baby at birth or shortly after… This was a subject close to our family as my Sister-in-Law and my Brother lost their little girl Freya in November of 2011 just shortly before she was due to be born….
So 2012 started, I was still keeping up the running and enjoying every step I was taking, well nearly every step, then one long run I had a brain wave… well if you can call it that… I thought why don’t I run the coast to coast-St bees to Robin hoods Bay… for both charities instead of cycling…. Which would be a challenge!!! As the longest distance I had run was 26.2 miles whilst doing the London Marathon on one occasion and then the Dublin marathon on another in 2006!!! And I will say I was in bits after both!!!! And my times where nothing to shout about!!!(I think the bloke in a suit of armour beat me to the line!!haha) So doing this was mad very mad. If not stupid and very painful…
However I thought about the battle little Sadie Rose went through with cancer and the grief and heartache my sister in law and Brother where going through after losing their little girl, then a little pain I would endure, No probably a lot of pain I would endure would be nothing compared to what they have gone through…
So while sat about thinking how I would run the width of the UK, on TV was a programme called the Wainwright Walks…. Well it became very simple… I’d run the wainwright coast 2 coast – this is well known walk that people all over the world come and do it stretches from the lake district across to the Yorkshire dales and the official walk covers 191.5 miles of pure beauty from one side of the country to the other…
Well then the ‘EVEN MADER’ challenge was thought of…. And that was to run one way and cycle back… I had already worked out a route for the cycle and wanted to do it in 3 days and I decided on a running route which I wanted to take which would be done in 6 days so combing the two I decided that I would complete the whole challenge nearly 400miles from St bees to Robin Hoods Bay and then back again in 9 day….
I approached my brother with the idea who quickly said that only some stupid would attempt this ( but he has always called me stupid so really the challenge for me was like two peas in a pod!! Ideal!!) However he wanted to get involved and volunteered to cycle both ways with me. As running was not his thing… I also approached my two friends who we all had the original drunken idea back in 2010 but one declined, quickly I must add, but said he would help out logistically and the other said no to running (and again mentioned only stupid people would run it!! Now seriously I am getting a complex!!) but would cycle the 180 miles back with me…
So to now 14 August 2012, where are we??..... well we have developed the initial drunken idea of cycling the coast to coast for fun to the massive reality of running coast to coast one way which in simple terms sees me cover over 7 marathon in 6 days then biking back 180 mile to the where we began the run in 3 days!! 9 days of hell I would say at this point!!... But for two great charities.
Now, when will this charity challenge will take place I hear you say?
Well we decided next year in August 2013 actual dates will be confirmed later in the year (as my daughter will be starting school and don’t know dates yet, and I would not have a home to come back to if I missed her first day of school!!).
But this gives me plenty of time to train (and I need it) and also gives me time to raise the money, £10,000, and awareness for both of these small charities.
Now this is where you come in we would love to have your support and you can do this in several ways by contacting and visiting us through the following sites:
And you can also help by donating to both our charities
Neuroblastoma – In Memory of Sadie Rose Clifford
SANDS – In Memory of Freya Doherty
At our just giving page:
Our contact emails are:
So please help us raise the much needed awareness and money for these two charities by following and donating… Every £1 goes a long long way….