Black Country friends say ‘Balls to Cancer’ with 62.5 mile challenge

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The four friends celebrate after completing their gruelling run recently

Four friends from the Black Country have completed a once in a lifetime challenge this weekend and raised over £6,500 for a local charity in the process.

Dave Bytheway, Ian Bytheway, Nick Cockburn and Nigel Bolton ran 62.5 miles from Richmond Park in London to Brighton Racecourse in under 15 hours.

 

The intrepid quartet, who came up with the fundraising idea over a few pints in the local, smashed their fundraising target by over £1500 and will now buy Balls to Cancer its first pop-up screening clinic.

This investment will be taken to events across the UK to provide a discreet place for men to be checked out for all forms of cancer in the hope that early detection will save lives.

“When we dreamed up this challenge none of us thought we’d actually hit the 15 hour mark, let alone beat it by nearly 15 minutes…it’s a great feeling, especially when we saw how much we had eventually raised,” explained Dave, who is a director at Bytheway Accountants in Sedgley.

“Running 62.5 miles or 100km was hard work, especially in the heat and up some big hills, including the famous South Downs as you come into Brighton.”

He continued: “We all stayed together as a team and to see so many of our friends and family at the finishing line made it all worthwhile. The fact we managed to raise so much money and can now help Balls to Cancer buy the pop-up screening clinic was the icing on the cake.”

London to Brighton Challenge

Team Running on Empty spent six months getting ready for the London to Brighton Challenge.

This involved a 500-mile training programme, which included two ultra races, 4 marathons, 2 half marathons and the infamous Groundhog Marathon – 105 laps of Telford Athletic Stadium.

The hard work paid off, with the Black Country runners finishing in the top 150, out of a total of 1900 runners, joggers and walkers.

Nigel Bolton, a firefighter at Walsall Fire Station, picked up the story: “All of this has only been made possible thanks to the backing of some great local companies that have helped us buy training equipment and got our fundraising efforts off to a flying start.

“With this in mind, a big thank you to Bytheway Accountants, Conveyor Units, J Hartill Installations, Danks Cockburn Communications and Jacks Café and Bar in Wolverhampton.”

Team Running on Empty is planning its next big challenge, with early talks focusing on a 100-mile run next year.

Donations to Balls to Cancer are still welcome by visiting www.justgiving.com/londonbrighton2013.

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Popping down the local turns into 62.5 mile challenge for Black Country friends

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Team Running on Empty limber up for their grueling marathon challenge

A quick trip down the pub has turned into the challenge of a lifetime for four novice runners from the Black Country.

Dave Bytheway, Ian Bytheway, Nick Cockburn and Nigel Bolton are swapping their day jobs as an accountant, financial director, sprinkler fitter and firefighter to run 62.5 miles – in 15 hours – as part of the grueling London to Brighton challenge on May 25th.

The intrepid quartet – nicknamed ‘Team Running on Empty’ – are looking to pound the streets, hills and pathways of South-east England to raise £5,000 for Balls to Cancer, a local charity established by Mark Bates to fund male cancer awareness, education and research.

As part of their 500-mile strong training programme they will complete two ultra races, four marathons, two half marathons and the infamous Groundhog Marathon – 105 laps of Telford Athletic Stadium.

Dave Bytheway, director at Bytheway Accountants and the inspiration behind the challenge, explained: “We were having a few beers down the pub when somebody threw down the gauntlet of running 62.5 miles.

“None of us are affiliated to a running club and, although we were all decent footballers in our day, I think it’s safe to say we’d hung up our boots for the real ale. Still, a challenge is a challenge and we just needed something to get behind to make it all worthwhile.”

He went on to add: “I’d heard about the excellent work Mark and his family were doing in setting up Balls to Cancer and I liked the fact it was helping to support men with cancer. We had another chat down the pub and the rest is history.”

Black Country businesses pledge their support for Balls To Cancer

‘Team Running on Empty’ has received overwhelming support from the local business community, with Conveyor Units and Bytheway Accountants pledging their support as main sponsors.

Jacks Café and Bar, located in Frederick Street in Wolverhampton, is also lending its backing, hosting regular meetings and a major fundraising event on March 22nd..

More than 200 people have already snapped up tickets for the charity night, which will see the King (Les Rivers) go head-to-head with Shoddy Woddy, a mega raffle and an all-star auction featuring memorabilia from Wolves’ Wayne Hennessey, Talksport and many other celebrities and sports stars.

Nick Cockburn concluded: “£5,000 is our target and we are already well on the way to achieving that. I think that will make us one of Balls to Cancer’s biggest one-off fundraisers!

“I’m sure by the 60th mile, we’ll all be wishing we hadn’t escaped for that cheeky pint down the pub.”

To make a donation,  visit www.justgiving.com/londonbrighton2013 or text Daft62 £5 to 70070.

If you would like to see the guys run 13 miles in their least favourite football shirt (Nick: Spurs, Dave: Wolves, Ian: Blues and Nigel: West Bromwich Albion) then contact Nick to place your special donation on 07792 383358.