Our fundraiser of the month this month is Wendy Cole, who ran a 100k ultra challenge for MS-UK on the 27 May!
Hi! My name’s Wendy Cole. In August 2015 I took part in my first 100km ultra challenge, London2Cambridge. I’m a runner who fancied a change, so decided I would walk the route. I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided pretty quickly that I would take on another challenge, this time the London2Brighton 100km challenge on the 27 May, raising funds for MS-UK.
Back in 2014 I was very fortunate to receive a charity place with MS-UK in the Virgin Money London Marathon and found them so supportive prior to and during the race that it was a pleasure to get the opportunity to raise funds for them again.
I lost my Mum in 1997 at the age of 50 to Primary Progressive MS, so this is a cause very close to my heart and it’s great to be able to raise awareness of this disease and the work MS-UK do, supporting those affected by MS.
So, in July last year I signed up for London2Brighton in memory of my Mum. I knew I’d completed the distance before but also knew that this challenge would be much hillier. Too right it was!!! There’s a particularly huge hill at 88km, just where you don’t need one.
Again I decided to walk this ultra. I’ve run 11 marathons and 32 half marathons and found walking with a full rucksack quite different from running. You’re on your feet much longer, which is tiring, and you’re using different muscle groups, so ache in different places.
In the lead up to the big day, my training consisted of running three marathons, Brighton on 09 April, London (guide running with a visually impaired runner) on 23 April and Stratford on 07 May. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend running three marathons in five weeks!! I also walked the canal route from Worcester to Birmingham (28.4 miles) two weeks before the challenge.
At 8am on Saturday 27 May I set off from Old Deer Park in Richmond with just over 1500 other eager participants taking on the full challenge. The heavens opened just 0.6 miles from the start, but the rain stopped by the time we’d got our macs out. It was then dry for the remainder of the challenge. We walked day and night, on road and off road, over numerous stiles, taking in short refuelling stops every 25 kms or so at the checkpoints until we reached our final destination at Brighton Racecourse at 7.06am…still smiling, and for me, blister free.
I’m delighted to have exceeded my fundraising target of £300 and would like to thank Nick Adams from MS-UK for regularly making contact with me, offering support and generally seeing how my training was going.
My recovery’s been good. Two days after the event I felt pretty normal again and even managed to wear a kitten heel to work!!
I often wonder what my Mum would think of me now. I was a total couch potato until I hit the age of 40, so she has never seen any of these achievements. She’d probably think I was bonkers!!
Anyway, time for a little rest now…until the next challenge. I’m running New York Marathon in November and Tokyo Marathon in February, so will have a few weeks off over the summer until training starts again.
Fundraiser of the month, Matt Pegg, tells MS-UK about his experiences riding the ‘London to Brighton’…
My choice of the MS-UK charity was very close to my heart. My wife Tracie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 11 years ago and we have become so aware of how important the support and information that the charity offers is. It is crucial in helping everyone who is involved with someone who has MS.
My two passions in life are my family – wife and five children (Josh 27, Aston 25, Kane 22, Chester 19 and Maddie 15) – and cycling so it made sense to combine the two and complete the charity cycle ride for MS-UK.
It was a beautiful ride through some lovely countryside and the weather was definitely on our side. I completed the ride in 4 hours and 20 minutes arriving at a very busy Brighton seafront at 11.50 and had my picture taken with a very proud daughter!
I would like to thank everyone who sponsored me and who supported me, especially my lovely wife Tracie for the encouragement she showed me throughout my training, it all made everything worthwhile…
I am already planning my next venture!
Did you know that MS-UK have a monthly fundraising e-newsletter to complement our general one?
The newsletter is packed with news, individual and team achievements, fundraising ideas, volunteering opportunities and much more.
So, if you are interested in finding out more about the many varied MS-UK events throughout the year, want to become a volunteer at one of our events, or are looking for fundraising ideas to help the charity, sign up today!
I’m Justin Ellis and I took part in this year’s London to Brighton run to raise money for MS-UK. I chose to fundraise for MS-UK as I have a friend who lives with multiple sclerosis who has promoted the excellent work they do, making my decision to raise money for them as part of my London to Brighton challenge fairly easy!
I entered to take part in the run over a year ago having seen a few of my friends complete the 62 mile challenge in 2015. I started training in January which included completing 8 marathons, one thirty mile and one forty mile run.
The race day itself was the last bank holiday weekend in May with a very early alarm call (3am) with the run starting at 6.45 in the morning. I ran the whole thing with my fellow partners in crime Danny and David, putting the world to rights and there was plenty of banter flying about. I completed the run in 17 hours and 41 minutes finishing in the early hours of the morning. My lasting memory of the day is the numerous stiles we had to negotiate. If I never see another stile again, I will be a happy man.
In total I have raised £300 for MS-UK. I work for Lloyds Banking Group who have been really supportive of the challenge and promoting the fundraising for MS-UK. This consisted mainly of sharing my Just Giving page with family, friends and colleagues. I really enjoyed completing the London to Brighton Challenge and having the opportunity to raise money for such a worthy charity. My Just Giving page will be open for a few more weeks for anyone reading this wanting to make a donation.