Last weekend Fishing for Schools founder and director Charles Jardine completed his most extreme challenge to date, raising more than £10,000 for the charity.
Charles and his running partner Richard Davis ran between three Wessex Water fisheries – a distance equivalent to two marathons, all within 24 hours.
In his final blog, Charles tells us about the challenge and what’s next!
I’m feeling remarkably OK, considering, and even went out for a run today. It may sound odd to say but the Wessex Water Challenge was easier than I thought it was going to be. Partly because I had Richard there with me, but I also think it was the happiest event I have been involved in – it just worked. Everything from the weather to the team work went well. It was as though the fates realised we were doing a good thing and went easy on us.
I would like to say a big thank you to my children Alex and Annabelle, who took the first shift as support team (from 10am to 10pm) and to Lee Hooper and Rob Doyle who were with us overnight. The chance to change clothing and get a warm drink and food on the road was a lifesaver.
I actually can’t believe how much food we got through – sandwiches, shortbread, sausage rolls and flapjack were all hoovered up by Richard and myself – actually mostly Richard, the man seems to run on sausage rolls!
It was, of course, a very long way and physically demanding, but at no point did I think I was not going to make it. We ran 53 miles in all – the equivalent of two marathons, back to back, in 12 hours, 33 minutes and with the added challenge of catching three fish along the way. I think that was not a bad result at all.
My only real palpitations came when I was trying to catch that last fish. It had been raining for days and the water at Sutton Bingham was full of mud. It was almost impossible for the fish to see the fly and I must admit I was not in my first flush of energy. However, even then, just as I was starting to lose heart, after two hours of trying this and that, a little trout came along. It was not going to win any prizes but at that point I was just so pleased to see it.
I am delighted to say that, so far, I have raised more than £10,500 for Fishing for Schools and Casting for Recovery – that’s a really substantial boost for both brilliant causes. But you can of course still add your donation to the pot. Just go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wessexwaterchallenge
The Wessex Water Challenge cannot, and will not, be repeated, however I think it’s a template that we can use again. Perhaps we could run more local event where people are sponsored to run – or cycle – and fish. There must be a lot of opportunity to run events linked to the Fishing for Schools provision in that area.
But for now, it’s back to the day job, with my love for running rekindled. It was a magnificent event all round and I am delighted to have brought you all on the journey with me.
Yours aye, Charles