I came across Race the Sun almost by accident, while I was looking for charity events that I could join in with. At first I was a little intimidated – it’s a massive challenge! – but the more I read about the charity it supports, the more I convinced myself I had to sign up. It is essentially a children’s charity, and dedicates its funds and staff into researching how to support sick children. Action Medical Research is pioneering new technology, such as supporting the invention of an artificial bone that grows, developing cooling therapy for newborns, and creating the award-winning matrix seat to support disabled children as they grow. They’ve even had a hand in developing everyday technology that many of us now take for granted, such as the use of the ultrasound in pregnancy.
The Race The Sun challenge is what it says – a challenge to complete a number of sporting activities starting at sunrise, and finishing before sunset. On September 1st we’ll start at Penrith and cycle approximately 22 miles to the bottom of the mountain Raise. From there we’ll climb Raise, Lower Man, then Helvellyn (the second highest mountain in England at 3116ft). After this we’ll cycle to Thirlmere Lake and complete a 2 mile canoe course – then it’s back on our bikes, and back to the start/finish line (approximately 26 miles away).
This is done in a team of four. My fiancé Kieron pushed me to sign up and is now training with me. His friend Martin was the first to respond when we were looking for team members. After our fourth member had to pull out for health reasons, Bradley, who is also a Customer Service Advisor for Virgin Wines, was only too happy to jump on board.
I’m training now every chance I get – cycling being my favourite. Kieron and I even did the Preston Sky Ride as a bit of extra training! We’ve so far attempted to climbing section twice, but had to turn back both times at the top of Raise due to severe weather conditions – one being snow, one being the torrential rain in mid-June.
It’s hard to stay motivated, and hard to find the time, and I’m a little worried I won’t be fit enough, but I think even if we have to crawl over the finish line at midnight, we’ll manage it.
Although the fitness is a worry, raising the money is the main challenge. Although we currently have just under £1000 we still need lots more. We’re each asking friends, family and colleagues, who are proving generous, and Kieron and I have been selling items online. When it gets closer to the summer myself and Kieron will be setting up stall at some local car boots and trying to get a little extra! We’d appreciate as much help as possible though, so if anyone can spare a little change you can sponsor the team here: www.action.org.uk/sponsor/CarpeJugulum
Rachael – Virgin Wines