Whitley Bay dad gears up for final challenge in aid of CHUF

Seb and Ivan Hollingsworth.
Pixcure by Jane Coltman
Seb and Ivan Hollingsworth. Pixcure by Jane Coltman

A super-dad is gearing up for his final – and biggest – challenge to raise funds for the hospital unit which saved his life.

Ivan Hollingsworth, of Whitley Bay, is to cycle and run from London to Newcastle without major breaks as he looks to pass £500,000 fund-raising for the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital.

He will set off from Marble Arch in London at 8am on Saturday, October 28, to cycle 260 miles before running 52 miles – the equivalent of two marathons – to finish at the doors of the hospital 27 hours later.

For the last eight years, Ivan has carried out a number of yearly challenges to raise funds for the hospital, which performed life-saving surgery on his son Seb at 16 weeks old after he was born with a congenital heart condition.

So far, Ivan and his wife Nadine have raised £488,000 for CHUF (Children’s Heart Unit Fund) which has paid for equipment and a £330,000 playroom.

Ivan, 42, said: “This is definitely my final challenge. I’ve done six months of the hardest, most focused, specific training I’ve ever done.

“This is the biggest challenge I’ve ever done, and what a great way to finish it.

“I’m never going to come up with a bigger, harder challenge and a good way to end it as we close in on £500,000 fund-raising.

“It’s a great milestone to hit and something to be proud of. I want to end these challenges on top.

“This challenge has to be tough enough to do but not that tough people think you are showing off.

“This challenge has been a massive commitment, not just for me but for my family.”

As part of his training, Ivan has implemented a strict diet, with 23 training sessions in the last 13 days.

He has also been meticulously planning his route, which will see him run past the Angel of the North and across the Tyne Bridge on the final stretch to the hospital.

To sponsor Ivan text CHUF99 plus either £5 or £10 to 70070 or visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/seb4chuf

For more on Ivan’s challenge and to follow his progress visit www.chuf.org.uk/ivans-challenge/