A Devon dad is running 100-miles over 10 weeks for charity, taking his 9-month-old son Arthur along for the ride in his buggy.
Ian Chown, from Ottery-St-Mary has already travelled 86.9 miles with Arthur in tow and plans to complete the running challenge this weekend with his final run to hit 100 miles. He has already raised over £950 of his £1000 target for Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal.
The final half marathon (13.1 miles) will be completed as part of The Grand Run - a charity’s new virtual running event raising money for Bristol Children’s Hospital and its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol.
Ian was inspired to support the charity after Arthur required specialist care in the NICU at St Michael’s when he was born. The newborn had difficulty breathing and required continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for the first 11 days of his life. Ian and his partner, Jeni received the best Christmas present when they were given the news Arthur was well enough to come off the CPAP on Christmas Day.
With the family home more than 80 miles away, it was thanks to the charity’s support that the couple were able to stay close to their son’s bedside in one of The Grand Appeal’s dedicated family accommodation buildings, Cots for Tots House until Arthur was discharged to their local hospital in Exeter.
Ian Chown commented: “I am personally so grateful to The Grand Appeal. I was overwhelmed with the support I received from them when Arthur was in NICU, being able to stay at Cots for Tots House made a huge difference to a very stressful experience.
“Now, together Arthur and I are taking on forests, beaches, moors and roads across East Devon to support the charity. He loves it when we go fast over the bumps and small jumps, although he also gets an easy ride and has slept through about half of the challenge so far!”
The Grand Run, sponsored by Barcan+Kirby is a virtual running event that invites participants to lace up their trainers and put one foot in front of the other to raise vital funds for sick babies and children at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
Runners, joggers, athletes, walkers and whole families of all abilities and ages will be encouraged to take on a 1.3, 3.1 or 13.1 mile runs before the 27 November. With so many people taking up running during lockdown, the event is designed to make sure all that effort does not go to waste and their training miles are put to good use.
Nathan Fuller, The Grand Appeal commented: “We are asking runners across the South West to lace up your running shoes and make your miles matter for sick babies and children across the region who are being treated at Bristol Children’s Hospital and need our support now. The date, distance, speed and how much you raise is up to you.”
Participants sign up with a £15 entry fee which includes a t-shirt, posters, stickers, entry to The Grand Appeal’s Strava Club, provision of suggested routes and dedicated Spotify playlists. For every adult that enters, participants can claim a free child’s place which includes a kid’s t-shirt and Wallace & Gromit themed activity sheets. On completion of the challenge and by raising a minimum of £25 runners will be awarded a specially designed Grand Run medal and a certificate.
As the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity, The Grand Appeal funds ground-breaking medical equipment, three family accommodation houses, 20 specialist support staff and a programme of art, music and play in partnership with the hospital and its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Michael’s Hospital.
Throughout lockdown, the charity has continued to provide its services to support the staff, families and patients despite the coronavirus pandemic. These vital services have included providing family accommodation to parents, so they can be close to their children in hospital, especially whilst alternative accommodation has been closed – as well as providing the funding for ground-breaking research into the natural history of Covid-19.
To support Ian and Arthur on their incredible challenge, visithttps://grandappeal.enthuse.com/pf/ian-chown
For more information on Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal and to sign up to The Grand Run visit www.grandappeal.org.uk/thegrandrun