9 May 2016
Seventeen intrepid members of the Denbigh Harriers running club are preparing to run 176 miles from South Wales to North Wales along the Offa’s Dyke path in aid of the British Red Cross.
The runners will set off from Chepstow on Wednesday 1 June and plan to take five days to reach the finish line in Prestatyn on the North Wales coast on Sunday 5 June. For their extraordinary efforts the team hopes to raise £10,000 to purchase eight new defibrillators for the Red Cross.
The runners, whose ages range from 23 to 67 years, will cover 35 miles each day and will ascend a total of 28,000ft – almost as high as Mount Everest which stands at 29,000ft.
Long-distance runner, Bob Neale, 65 from Denbigh, is taking part in the challenge and also volunteers at the Red Cross. He said: “The idea to run the length of the Offa’s Dyke came from fellow Harrier, Roger Snaith, to celebrate the club’s 25th anniversary. Once we knew that we had runners willing to take part I suggested we raise funds to support the Red Cross.”
A retired mental health nurse, Bob spends a few hours each week volunteering for the charity’s Gofal service. Despite running at least five times per week, Bob realises that this challenge is a huge undertaking.
He explained: “The group have been doing training runs in the Clwydians carrying backpacks to get us used to the terrain and weight of our gear. Last week I covered 16 miles and felt good, but then realised that was less than half of what we need to cover each day! It’s going to be a tough challenge.”
Red Cross fundraiser in North Wales, Gladys McCrea, said: “We are delighted that the Denbigh Harriers have chosen to help us and are incredibly grateful to all the runners who are taking part in this mammoth challenge. The money raised will allow us to replace our existing defibrillators and help our first aid teams continue to save lives.”
For those inspired by the fundraising efforts of the Denbigh Harriers but who would prefer a more sedate pace, places are still available to take part in the Red Cross’ annual 26-mile hike along the most northerly part of the Offa’s Dyke path. The marathon walk takes place on Saturday 4 June and runs from Clwyd Gate in Ruthin, to the sea at Prestatyn, following the Clwydian Mountains. The event will raise money for Red Cross work both at home and overseas.
If you would like to support the Denbigh Harriers in their fantastic fundraising efforts for the Red Cross please visit their Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/denbigharriersoffasdyke
Or if you would like more information about the Offas Dyke 26-mile trek, please contact Gladys McCrea on 01745 828338 or email GMcCrea@redcross.org.uk.
Notes to editors
> For interviews or more information, or for a Welsh version of this press release, please contact Samantha Whitwham, 0117 301 2608
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.
Follow us on Twitter: @RedCrossWales