Somerset Chamber’s Membership Manager Ritchie Cridge has raised more than £5,700 for St Margaret’s Hospice in memory of his grandad, Derek Cridge.
For the last year, Ritchie has run 5k every day to raise money for the hospice which cared for his grandad, who died of lung cancer due to asbestos in 2014.
Ritchie’s family and friends, as well as Somerset Chamber members, turned out in force to cheer him on as he completed the very last 5k at Taunton’s Longrun Meadow.
His mammoth fundraising feat has seen him run 1,825km, or 1,134 miles – the equivalent of running from London to Rome. That’s more than 43 marathons!
When he started out, the daily 5k took him more than half an hour to complete; by the end he was storming it in just over 22 minutes.
Ritchie said: “I want to thank everyone who has sponsored and supported me over the last year – everyone has been fantastic and it really helped to spur me on, especially when I had to run in the rain, wind, and even snow!
“I decided to run as it was a real challenge – I had only ever completed two 5k’s in my life (and I walked for half of each of them). Due to the type of cancer my grandad had, he struggled to breathe 24 hours a day. I was fortunate to only struggle for an average of just 25 minutes per day.
“I can’t imagine how much harder it would have been losing my grandad without the compassion and care offered by St Margaret’s Hospice and I wanted to give something back to them to thank them for everything they did.”
But there’s no rest for Ritchie despite completing his 5k year challenge – he’s planning to run 10k twice a week to stay in shape for the Bridgwater Half Marathon in September, before hoping to take part in the London Marathon next April.
Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are all immensely proud of Ritchie and his incredible achievement.
“He has been completing his daily run, without fail, either before or after work during the week, no matter if he was up early or staying late for networking events or meetings.
“Our members have also been fantastic and supported Ritchie every step of the way, enabling him to raise a huge amount of money in memory of his grandad.”
Anyone who would like to support Ritchie’s 5k challenge can still donate online at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/The5kYear