Stepping Forward For Charity
IT TAKES a bit of true Yorkshire grit to gear up to running 12 marathons in 12 days – and to do a gruelling bike ride after of each of them.
But that’s what dynamic Yorkshire duo Andy North and Dave Edwards are planning to achieve in record time in a mammoth Land’s End to John O’Groats epic running and cycle race in May – and they need your support.
Andy, a catering Director from Guiseley, and Dave, a chef from Calverley, both in their late 40s/early 50s, plan to string together 12 marathons and 12 x 60 mile bike rides in successive days for charity.
The pair - who consider themselves non-athletes – have been training in the Dales and on Ilkley Moor for months, hoping the mammoth effort will be the recipe for success for The Soldiers’ charity, The Army Benevolent Fund.
The duo – who have no direct links with the army – were moved by the plight of soldiers in Afghanistan and the heroism of British Forces elsewhere to put their best feet forward for the cause.
Now they hope to drum up support from celebrities, businesses, corporate sponsors and the media, and most importantly Yorkshire folk, to help set them on their way.
Andy says: “We’ve known each other through work for a long time and have been planning this idea for the last 5 years.
“Quite simply, our motivation has been building after seeing all the daily suffering by our armed forces and the increasing number of injured and devastated lives of our soldiers being affected by the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan.
“We have run marathons and ultra-marathon distances such as Coast to Coast 120 miles and Dales Way Leeds to the Lakes 90 miles before, but are not ‘true’ atheletes so this challenge really raises the bar. The main message is to ask people to get out there and join us on the way or if not to sponsor us for this tremendous cause. If we can do it, both in middle age, anyone can.
“Each day we plan to run a Marathon Distance in the morning and 60-80 mile sessions on the bike during the afternoon & early evening.
“The Army Benevolent Fund is a superb charity. We are both passionate about this cause, so we thought we would put our fitness to the test with a deserving fund to benefit.
“We’re hoping other athletes and members of the public will join us and members of the armed forces along the way. We are actively seeking anyone who wishes to join in any section of the challenge, also corporate or individual sponsors and anyone who wishes to join our support team.”
Having completed many marathons – Dave in some very rapid times under three hours, the pair ran the 120-mile Northern Coast-to-Coast Trail in three days and in October the Dales Way (Ilkley to Windermere).
However, Andy hasn’t been on a bike in 30 years so a certain amount of saddle soreness can be expected in training, which is now under way.
Indoor training base for the attempt is in a Bingley gym called ‘The Personal Training Studio’ with bike rides throughout Yorkshire and runs over the Ilkley Moors.
The pair ran the 120-mile Northern Coast-to-Coast Trail in three days and in October the Dales Way (Ilkley to Windermere).
Joining them on the run will be Sharon Gayter who created the Land’s End – John O’Groats women’s world record of 12 days 16 hours & 23 minutes in 2006 which still stands.
Dave says: “We’re simply saying to Yorkshire folk and those up and down the country on the route, by any means we would like you and your friends, colleagues & family to join us for a short or long section of our route.
“We’re asking them to please find time to share 30 minutes of their time with us and remember any hardship or pain on the day is raising funds to support real heroes! I think it will be tremendous fun.
“Equally, if people, their family or friends could help with collections around their town, cities or village as we pass through, or help with fund raising, that would be superb.
“We are actively approaching a number of celebrities is the hope of them putting in an appearance, joining us for extra support.
“We cannot underline how much we feel passionately about this cause nor any better way to commemorate the action of our heroes – injured or otherwise – via this effort – however gruelling. Their dedication and heroism will be in our thoughts every step of the way from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
“Dave and I often train across the Dales and have this year run the Dales Way over 3 days and coast to coast over 3 days
“We are currently training in the snow across Ilkley moor, running approx 50miles per week, training in the gym twice per week and bike riding, this will be increased each week building up to the event.”
The pair staged a Soldiers Charity event at the Bankfield Hotel on 19th February to raise vital money for those affected by the Afghan War,
Please contact Andy North ( 07879 628 486 07879 628 486 07879 628 486 07879 628 486) if you would like to join the team or can offer sponsorship or corporate promotion.
Where will Andy and Dave be?
Subject to final confirmation
· Sun 2 May – Lands End Start
· Tue 4 May – Slough area
· Wed 5 May – Northhampton
· Thu 6May – Coventry, Birmingham
· Fri 7 May – Huddersfield, Bradford, Leeds, Wetherby, York
· Sat 8 May – Durham, Newcastle
· Mon 10 May – Edinburgh & Perth
· Wed 12 May – Inverness Area
· Thu 13May – John O’Groats finish
DONATE VIA justgiving.com/savingforsoldiers or send Donations to Andy North 07879 628 486 07879 628 486 07879 628 486 07879 628 486 or Dave Edwards 07944 856 993 07944 856 993 07944 856 993 07944 856 993.
Corporate Sponsorship can be provided; see more at www.yorkshireduo.co.uk