He did it! Neil completed his double-marathon challenge in less than 12 hours, running all the way.
Many of us followed Neil’s progress via Facebook updates from the comfort of our armchairs or managed to get to a point to cheer him on but however we supported him, keeping up with his journey on Saturday 19th October was compelling, inspirational and moving.
Neil started off in darkness at 6:09am in a bleak fenland field near Peterborough and covering the ’23 peaks’ of the county, came through Cambridge and finished at the highest point in Cambridgeshire at Great Chishill before 6:00pm and in daylight!
Neil is not an elite runner. He had never even run a half-marathon before this challenge was decided for him in April. He has proved that you can achieve more than you think is possible through commitment, passion but mostly through the encouragement and backing of others.
Many of the children, young people and families that we work with have limited hope and aspiration. They often come to us at a low point in their lives and at Romsey Mill we want to build relationships and to provide support so that they can feel valued, aim high and thrive.
Neil was fuelled by energy gels, jam sandwiches, hula hoops and salted potatoes but what kept him going most was the support of many people; those running alongside, cheering along the way, praying for his strength, following his story on Facebook, donating money to support this incredible challenge and ultimately helping the vital work of Romsey Mill.
Neil says “At the start of the run, up in Holme Fen, I was encouraged to just ‘keep moving forward’ and with the faithful support of an amazing group of people that is what I was able to do. Romsey Mill’s work is all about enabling young people, children and families to keep moving forward in life and, with God’s help, to do much more than they might imagine is possible.”
Thank you to everyone who has supported Neil through practical help, encouragement, donations and prayer. Due to the wonderful generosity of a number of people, the original sponsorship target of £3,450 has been exceeded. The current total stands at £5,650 and donations are still coming in. Funds raised from the challenge will be directed to our on-going work, creating opportunities with some of the most vulnerable young people and families in our communities. It is not too late to celebrate an incredible feat through giving to the work of Romsey Mill at: http://www.justgiving.com/NeilRPerry.