Soduku, laps of the football pitch, star jumps, squats and so much more make the SRC 26.2 Challenge a huge success

Julia Haddrell going potty but raising funds on #26Point2 day. Picture SRC

Julia Haddrell going potty but raising funds on #26Point2 day. Picture SRC - Credit: Archant

Jo Earlam, our club secretary, came up with the idea of The London Lockdown Challenge while she was out running out in the Devon countryside, writes Hamish Spence.

Allan Kay (left) with Adrian Horne (right) during the 26point2 fund raiser. Picture SRC

Allan Kay (left) with Adrian Horne (right) during the 26point2 fund raiser. Picture SRC - Credit: Archant

Jo is a very experienced marathon runner, she is well on her way towards the one hundredth marathon having completed over 70.

She is also an exceptionally good fund raiser for several charities.

Like a lot of us, running allows us time to think about ideas or plans without all the usual distractions of life.

It was on one of her runs that she had this ‘lightbulb moment’ by combining both fund raising and running together.

Karen Farnham before she set off on her 26.2-mile bike ride. Picture SRC

Karen Farnham before she set off on her 26.2-mile bike ride. Picture SRC - Credit: Archant

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With the fact that we were and still are in Lockdown and that the London Marathon was postponed, she pondered the idea of a 26.2mile Lockdown Challenge.

She ran her idea by the committee and Kerry Boyle our Junior leader added to it, Kyle Baker our videographer produced a short video and our IT crew of Els Laureys, Charlotte Forrer and Paula Farrand soon had it all over the internet.

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The Mighty Green 26Point2 Lockdown Challenge was born and the clubs’ membership got fully on board with it.

The idea was based around 26.2-mile marathon distance and allowed those taking part to decide what they wanted to do and chose the charity they want to raise fund for.

Naomi Garrick in one of her 26 fancy dress costumes. Picture SRC

Naomi Garrick in one of her 26 fancy dress costumes. Picture SRC - Credit: Archant

The club members did not disappoint and many put their own thinking caps on. As a result, the following and probably many more things besides happened...

Jo Earlam herself, who’s drive just happens to be 26.2 metres long is running it 26 times.

Husband John is doing 26 sudoku squares while dog Freddie will chase a ball 26 times, raising funds for dementia and dog charities.

Sidmouth Running Club (SRC) ambassador, Jo Pavey, and husband Gavin both supported the club. Jo ran a virtual relay with 11 other British Marathon women who were due to run the race, it was organised by her friend Eleanor Whyman-Davis an elite marathoner who is also an NHS doctor working on a Covid 19 ward.

Husband Gavin went further and ran a full off-road marathon taking time out to take loads of photos and still finished in a time of 3:35:41.

Beccy McDonald took a 26.2-mile run almost entirely off road; Tim Swarbrick ran 262 metres up Winslade Road 26 times; Rocker Shepard and Emma Grainger seeing how far they can run in 26.2 minutes; Allan Kay ran 26.2 laps of the football pitch complete with London Landmarks dotted around; Alexa Baker did 26.2 minutes of Morris dancing; Laura Broughton cycled 26.2 miles with her children for part of the way; Hamish Spence and Spanner (his faithful hound) ran around a customer’s garden while the dog retrieved 26.2 balls (don’t ask about the .2 balls though); Ann Cole did yoga poses; Naomi Garrick completed her 100th monthly mile and celebrated by dressing up in fancy dress 26.2 times; Toby Garrick completed 26.2 exercises in 26.2 minutes; Claire Ashby and family managed 26.2 minutes of squats, press ups and burpees in the garden; Kerry Boyle ran 5km in 26 minutes around her 10 by two-metre yard, complete with London landmarks, while sons Seth and Flynn did a football challenge involving scoring and saving 26 of each.

The SRC members engagement with the challenge continued with Emma Salter completing a 26.2 minute jog; David Palmer drank 26.2 pints Old Peculiar, but strangely, only in his dreams; Els Laureys and family took on 26 different activities in 26 minutes, doing star jumps, squats and press ups before a 26-minute run; Brigid McSmith completed 26.2 tunes on one instrument while Steve plays one tune on 26 instruments.

Terry Bewes took on 26.2 minutes of pyramid hill reps up Stowford Rise…ouch! There was also involvement from ‘down under’ with Joe Kent and family w, who live in Australia, joining in.

Three members of the Sid Vale Folk Group joined in. Tess did scales in 2.6 minutes; Sue and Rita sang sunshine songs in 26 minutes.

Going potty in her garden shed for 26.2 minutes was Julia Haddrell (like most of us it’s a short-term potty-ness suffered in bouts of 26Point2 minutes), she then went on to do a small plant sale.

Shaun Tipton danced his way around the Devon countryside to various 80’s hits with just the chiff-chaffs cheering him on.

Helen Palmer ran 3.1-miles complete with 26.2 crossings of White Bridge while remembering 26.2 running friends; Alan Scott and Kate Johnson did laps around the garden; David Welsh rowed his way around his living room; Jane Hemsworth did 26 hill reps at Jacobs Ladder’s grassy bank and Alan Chipping potted 26 golf balls into un upside down umbrella!

Tony Velterop, our ‘Flying Dutchman’, made his come back with a short run/walk; Lottie May did a 26.2-km bike ride; Bridgid and Steve McSmith played various tunes on various instruments; Charlie and Carolyn Sinclair joined Carolyn’s Nordic walking group and eight of them walked from their homes to make up a Marathon distance and more!

Amelia Frankpitt ran up and down her little hill 26 times; both the Farnham ladies did 26.2-mile bike rides; Kathy and John Keast did a 13.1-mile walk and a 13.1-mile run together, Richard King and Monica Read did a 13.1-mile loop in opposite directions and Catherine Hilton completed a 26.2-km run.

As a result of the combined efforts of SRC members, the charities that benefited from the collective fund-raising were; Ottery Community Volunteers, Brain Tumour Research, Refuge, RAF Benevolent Fund, Samaritans, PETA, Cancer Research, St Rocco’s Hospice, Halo’s Children Foundation. Devon Wildlife trust, Force, MIND, Krabbes UK, RSPCA, Asthma UK, National Autistic Society, St Raphael’s Hospice, South West Children Hospice, Team Shelter, CRISIS, Prostate Cancer UK, Diana Brimacombe Animal Rescue Charity, Queens Nurse Institute, Fire Fighters Charity, Headway Stroke Charity, Hospice UK, Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Shelter, Sid Valley Food Bank, Women’s Aid, CRY, Devon Air Ambulance, RNLI, PHAB Children Charity, Alzheimer’s Society, BRACE, MS Society, Heart Failure Aware, Fareshare, Rethink Mental Illness, National Autistic Society, NHS to name but a few. Apologies to any charities that I have missed out!)

As SRC chairman, and a very proud chair at that, Terry Bewes, has a message to all involved.

He says: The response from the members and their families, even with the short notice was nothing short of amazing.

“There were so many different challenges and a great deal of thought and energy was put into them, especially the children.

“Over 40 charities received donations from their efforts, a brilliant result, I thank then all.”

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