Group of friends set for extreme 24-hour challenge
A group of five intrepid friends from Barnet are set to do a 24-hour relay run for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. The ironically named ‘Stay Alert’ challenge is set to raise well over £3,000 for the charity.
The group of local dads all have young children which has inspired the connection with their local children’s hospice. Harry Brown, Stephen Day, John Desbois, John Moody, Nick Phillips and injured Skipper Neil Gamester have been friends for well over 20 years and are committed to keeping their local hospice afloat during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Initially they were going to do an ‘Ark to Arc’ triathlon challenge to get from The Ark, Noah’s Ark’s new hospice building in Barnet to the Arc De Triomphe, but this has now been postponed until 2021.
The 24-hour challenge, boosted by the relaxation of outdoor exercising rules, will see each man run for an hour and then return home to hand over the virtual baton to their friend. Overall, they’ll each do four or five hour-long runs within the 24-hour period – they estimate that they’ll each end up running around 35 miles, including middle-of-the-night shifts. The challenge will last from 3pm on Friday 22 May 2020 to 3pm the following day.
Stephen Day said: “We all know how precious that time with our children is. We can only imagine how much that’s ramped up if you know you’ve only got a limited time with your child. The care that Noah’s Ark provides to both the children and the whole family is amazing. This was a cause that we could all get behind because we’re all dads.”
John Desbois said: “We were looking at ‘isolation challenges’ but we didn’t fancy running around our garden in circles! Running throughout the night is a significant challenge, especially as I’ve got a hernia! But we’re all so excited to do this for our local children’s hospice”.
Nick Philips added: “As soon as the government relaxed the laws on exercising outdoors, we knew that this was the green light for us. We’re all local and we just want to do what we can to give back to the most unwell babies and children within our community. We’re just five ordinary guys doing what we can; hopefully we’ll raise some money and raise people’s spirits during these extremely difficult times.”
Alison Goodman, Director of Fundraising for Noah’s Ark said: “This group of guys are absolute heroes. They’re putting their bodies and minds on the line to help London’s most unwell children. I can only imagine who drew the short straw of a midnight then a 4am run! It’s a huge testament to all of them that they’ve joined up to do this amazing initiative and I’d like to thank them from the bottom of my heart.”