Richard completes challenge to run a mile at every British racecourse
Richard Ward (pictured with Champion Jump Trainer, Paul Nicholls) completed his bid to run a mile at every one of Britain’s 60 racecourses in a week. The charity challenge, in aid of Sport Relief, started at Bath Racecourse on 17th March and finished at Newbury Racecourse on 23rd March, when Richard ran his fastest mile of 6 minutes 47 seconds up the home straight.
30 year-old Richard from Woking, who works in property and is horseracing mad, had the idea to start the challenge after The Festival race meeting at Cheltenham and finish prior to the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile events that took place across the UK on 25th March.
The toughest day of the challenge was when Richard travelled over 300 miles from Scotland to Shropshire and ran a mile at 8 racecourses. In total, with the help of his girlfriend and driver, Victoria, he covered over 2,500 miles and spent over 70 hours travelling by car to Britain’s racecourses. His slowest mile was 8 minutes 2 seconds at Newton Abbott on the first day of the challenge.
On completing the feat, Richard said:
“I'm surprised how well my mind and body have held up. We have had so much fun and it has reaffirmed my belief that we have some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain and some of the most wonderful people too.
The highlights were the beautiful Cartmel Racecourse, being fed cake at Beverley and Moby the dog at Hexham!
Lowlights were having to get up at 4.30am to run a mile at Ayr - a special mention to Iain Ferguson at the Racecourse for accommodating this - being chased by a dog at York, forgetting to take a picture at Pontefract and hitting the first ‘wall’ at Market Rasen!”
With the help of Racing for Change, the body tasked with promoting horseracing, and the support of Britain’s racecourses, so far Richard has raised £3,000 for Sport Relief through sponsorship. Richard completed the 60 miles of running in well under 480 minutes, meaning bookmaker William Hill, who placed a £500 bet on this outcome, will donate £1,000 to Sport Relief.
Richard is no stranger to challenges having previously visited all of the London Underground stations within a 24 hour period, as well as completing the same feat on Tokyo’s transport system. He is also considering doing a similar challenge around Ireland’s racecourses next year.
You can still sponsor Richard by visiting: http://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/richardward
Saturday 17th March - Bath, Taunton, Exeter, Newton Abbot, Wincanton, Salisbury and Goodwood.
Sunday 18th March - Brighton, Plumpton, Folkestone, Lingfield Park, Epsom Downs, Sandown Park, Kempton Park, Ascot and Royal Windsor.
Monday 19th March - Towcester, Huntingdon, Newmarket, Great Yarmouth, Fakenham, Leicester and Wolverhampton.
Tuesday 20th March - Uttoxeter, Nottingham, Southwell, Market Rasen, Doncaster, Pontefract, Beverley, York, Wetherby, Ripon and Thirsk.
Wednesday 21st March - Catterick, Redcar, Sedgefield, Hexham, Newcastle, Kelso, Musselburgh, Perth and Hamilton Park.
Thursday 22nd March - Ayr, Carlisle, Cartmel, Haydock Park, Aintree, Chester, Bangor on Dee and Ludlow.
Friday 23rd March - Ffos Las, Chepstow, Hereford, Worcester, Cheltenham, Stratford, Warwick and Newbury.
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