NEW RECORD: 1:46:26
On 24th September, an eclectic mix of 422 runners headed to Little Marlow athletics track in an attempt to run the world’s fastest marathon time and beat cancer faster.
When a bonkers fundraising idea is dreamt up during a conversation in the pub, more often than not it’s unlikely to last until the next morning, let alone get the backing of hundreds of volunteers, sports stars, celebrities, and Direct Line Group employees.
But against all the odds, last Saturday, legions of runners headed to Little Marlow – a small village in Buckinghamshire. Each ran consecutive 100m sprints in a giant relay, with each leg needing to average under 16.62 seconds in order to beat the existing marathon record held by 105 runners from Limerick.
The event, named ‘The Sprintathon’ was dreamt up by Mark Evans – Direct Line Group’s Marketing Director, and was all in aid of Stand Up To Cancer. Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, to accelerate ground-breaking discoveries from the lab and turning them into new treatments and tests for cancer patients who need them right now, saving more lives faster.
Juggling the event with his busy work schedule at DLG, Mark Evans said: “The event was a phenomenal success combining a great sporting achievement with supporting a tremendous cause.
It was wonderful to see DLG people and creative agencies, local schools and businesses work together to support a cause that is so close to many peoples’ hearts.”
SPECIAL GUESTS GOT INVOLVED…
Joining the wide mix of volunteers which included creative agency WCRS, a number of special guests also took part, including Seb Garry – European Sprint Triathlon champion, popular YouTube ‘vloggers’ Spencer FC, Josh Pieters and the Lean Machine, Andrew Strauss, ex England Cricket captain, Naomi Riches, 2012 gold Paralympian rower, Derek Redmond, ex Olympic 400m runner and Sally Orange the world record holder for most marathons dressed as a fruit. This time Sally ran as a pineapple!
The final leg was completed by bone cancer survivor and local resident, Jimmy Hall. .
THEY SMASHED IT!
Thanks to the hard work and commitment of everyone who played their part in the very first Sprintathon, Jimmy crossed the line to end the race, in a world record breaking time of one hour, 46 minutes and 26 seconds. That’s an average of 15.1 seconds per 100m, shaving over 10 minutes off of the target tine – a remarkable achievement!
Once the dust settled, Mark Evans said the following:
“It was such a brilliant day – but only because there was a team who were willing to give up their time to ensure that all the challenges that could have ruined it were overcome.
“Thank you to all involved for being the catalyst for something rather special. I certainly wouldn’t rule out doing this again, so watch this space.”
Nathan Carter, Brand Consultant in Marketing at DLG, added:
“The Sprintathon was amazing! We smashed a world record, raised loads for a great charity and to top it off, met a few celebs along the way.
“The day was really well planned and no-one dropped the baton. I’m really proud to have been a part of it and will definitely take part again.”
IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO DONATE AND BEAT CANCER FASTER!
Donations are still coming in for Sprintathon with those involved still working hard to hit the £50k target.
Donate now by visiting http://sprintathon.org/ or simply text to donate a fiver: Sprint5 to 70404
Watch the film here: http://sprintathon.org/
Follow #Sprintathon and #StandUpToCancer on social media with your own story “I lost my brother/mother/friend (adapt as appropriate) to cancer so I’m supporting The Sprintathon to beat cancer faster.”