Gruelling 90km race raises funds for St Catherine’s
By Jade Taylorson
Marathon man Chris Conlan went the distance for St Catherine’s Hospice when he ran an incredible 90km through the countryside to raise vital funds for the Hospice.
Chris, aged 46 and from Preston, completed the Cotswold 24 Hour Race this July, and hopes to raise more than £1,000.
At the beginning of this year, a close friend of Chris’ was diagnosed with cancer and this gave him the motivation to sign himself up for the challenge.
Chris said: “I saw details of the race online and decided this would be a really gruelling challenge. It was the ideal event for me to enter to raise as much funds as possible for St Catherine’s, who I know do an amazing job.”
The event is held just outside the town of Cirencester, in the heart of the Cotswolds, and is run over a 9km mixed course including forest trails and open tarmac paths. During his challenge, Chris completed an amazing 10 laps of the course.
In February, Chris began training in preparation for the race. This involved running, fell running, hiking and also taking part in our Moonlight and Memories Walk in June.
Around 500 people took part in the Cotswold 24 Hour Race, many of them in relay teams. But with friends put off by the duration of the event, Chris entered himself as a solo runner. He finished a fantastic 88th out of the 119 entrants, beating several teams along the way.
Chris said: “There was a great atmosphere on the day. All of the volunteers and participants were really friendly and provided encouragement and support to one another.
He added how proud he was to have completed the amazing feat, and raised so much money for St Catherine’s.
Chris said: “By the end I was completely drained, and hobbling round barely able to walk.
“But the overwhelming feeling was of accomplishment and pride that I had not let my friend down, that I carried on until the end even though several times I felt like packing it in.”
Raising a total of £476 online, Chris is still collecting amounts pledged on sponsor forms and believes the end figure will be well over £1,000.
“I just want to thank all of my friends, family and work colleagues at HMRC who have very generously supported me in this challenge. I am already thinking of new ways of raising funds for St Catherine’s Hospice!”
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