Reverse Running Challenge

This month we celebrated one of the biggest independent fundraising challenges in our charity’s 40-year history. The challenge involved Michael Ferndale running five marathons in five different cities over five consecutive days… in reverse.

The incredible challenge started in Dublin and passed through Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff before finally ending in London. Over the five days, Michael overcame fatigue, the brutality of the nature’s elements and injury.

Unfortunately, on day one of the challenge Michael suffered a painful calf muscle injury. For many this would have been a reason to throw in the towel, however Michael’s military experience kicked in and he used his mental resilience to push through the pain and keep going.

When talking about overcoming the pain, Michael shared: “The whole thing is about tricking your mind into thinking it’s not doing something that’s terribly hard or long or painful”.

Despite facing many additional challenges and drinking cans of cold baked beans to keep his body energised, Michael successfully crossed the finish line at Lord’s cricket ground on day five of the challenge.

Michael also volunteered days of his time prior to the marathon organising sports days with primary school children across the UK. An aim for next summer is to host a national ‘Reverse Challenge Schools Day’ to unite young children across the country in a mass fundraising event where young people raise money for young people.

Michael shared: “The symbolism of the reverse running can educate young people that by looking at a situation from a different perspective it is possible to work together with other people and change lives”.

We would like to give a special thanks to the following people for their support during this challenge

  • Simon Vincent OBE, Vice President Hilton and President of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton.
  • Steve Richards, CEO of Parkdean Resorts

Additionally thank you to all the running clubs who ran with Michael in each city

  • Dublin – James Dowling and the team at Blackrock Athletic Club
  • Belfast – Catriona and the team at Queens University AC
  • Cardiff – Simon Williamson and the team at Penarth and Dinas Runners
  • London – David Mullany and the team- Dulwich Park Runners
  • London- Nick Newman and the team of runners of Need Camden

The money raised through Michael’s effort will be shared between The Change Foundation and The Lords Taverners.To donate click here.

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