By Ed Fletcher, Head of Fundraising & Communications
Last week, our determined ultramarathon runner Chris Patterson, who works for Stepnell - a construction firm in Wantage - completed his latest marathon across the Great Wall of China in just 6 hours. Chris tackled the race as part of his personal challenge to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks to raise money for Hope for Children.
During the gruelling Great Wall Marathon – which has been described as one of the world’s most challenging long-distance races – 35-year-old Chris climbed more than 5,000 steps, tackling steep ascents and descents on the historic landmark amid stunning scenery.
It is the 18th marathon completed by Chris this year – a senior estimator with Wantage-based construction firm Stepnell – through his 52 in 52 challenge which began in January with the 42km Endurance Life marathon in Anglesey.
He has since run marathons at destinations including Gran Canaria, Malta, Rome, Barcelona and most recently Edinburgh on Sunday.
This isn’t Chris’ first fundraiser for Hope for Children – in 2016, he ran the Marathon des Sables, a 264km race across the Sahara Desert, as well as raising money for the charity through the Great North Run and the London Marathon in 2017. “I found myself needing another big challenge to motivate myself, so 2018 became the 52 in 52 challenge,” explains Chris.
“This seemed to be the most I could do whilst still working full-time. My employer’s at Stepnell have been really supportive, spreading the word and sponsoring me. 52 in 52 gives me another great opportunity to raise money for Hope for Children which does some really important work across the world, educating children, empowering their families and helping them to improve their health and wellbeing.”
Chris adds: “The Great Wall was a really tough challenge with hot and humid conditions and so many stairs, but I really enjoyed having the chance to look around at the amazing scenery. I can’t believe that I’m already a third of the way through this challenge. "
If you'd like to support Chris, just visit his fundraising page at: https://h4c.everydayhero.com/uk/52-marathons-in-52-weeks. To check in on his progress, check our his Facebook page ‘Kip does 52 in 52’ or on Instagram.