A FATHER is planning to take on a mammoth seven day endurance challenge to raise money to help children like his son.
When Ivan Hollingworth’s son Seb was born in 2009 with congenital heart defect called tetralogy of fallot, he and his wife Nadine set about raising money for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) at the Freeman hospital in Newcastle, to help other children like Seb.
Ivan, from Monkseaton, was able to call on his friends and family – including TV presenter Ben Shephard – to help him in his quest to raise £120,000 for a special heart machine.
Last year the group ran the Coast to Coast from Whitehaven to Tynemouth.
The charity has now smashed the £71,000 mark, and the challenges have stepped up a gear with the group of friends now preparing to take on the C2C².
Ivan completed the Edinburgh marathon at the weekend in preparation, and said it was the thought of Seb that kept him going.
“The wind was horrific and I really struggled and ended up running 2 hours 51 minutes; a time which I was a little disappointed with, until I got the biggest kiss and hug from Seb, which put my disappointment into a little perspective,” he said.
“The one thing that kept me going was the thought of Seb our Superhero and how much pain and discomfort he has been through at his tender age, I couldn’t possibly give in or stop running.
“He is my inspiration and because of him I will never stop raising money for CHUF and increasing the awareness of the charity that supports the wonderful Freeman Children’s Heart Unit.
“When we completed the C2C we thought, what can we do next year – it’s got to be bigger and better, so we decided on the C2C².
“We will cycle 145 miles in two days from Tynemouth to Whitehaven, then complete five marathons in five days to get back to Tynemouth – it’s the Coast to Coast, but squared.”
Ivan and Ben will be joined by other runners on the route, and are hoping that people will join them for the last few miles to Tynemouth.
“Last year it was very emotional when we ran into the sea at Tynemouth, there were so many people there to cheer us on, we’re hoping they will come out and support us again,” said Ivan.
The C2C² will kick off in Tynemouth on Thursday, July 28, and the boys will return on Wednesday, August 3.
The Handbags and Gladrags ball will be on Thursday, August 4, at Close House Hotel.
Tickets, priced at £75 a head of £600 for a table of ten, are available along with information about the charity, by visiting www.seb4chuf.org.uk