Ripon Runners complete mammoth fundraising challenge to raise awareness of mental health

Ripon Runners Fiona Hernandez, Andy Purll and Caroline Bentham celebrate their achievement with a cake. (1701316AM2)
Ripon Runners Fiona Hernandez, Andy Purll and Caroline Bentham celebrate their achievement with a cake. (1701316AM2)

Celebrations are in full swing for Ripon Runners, as three of its members have just completed a mammoth fundraising challenge for mental health charity Mind.

Andy Purll, Caroline Bentham and Fiona Hernandez have raised over £800 by taking part in R.E.D January 2017, which involved running every single day over the last month.

Between them they have clocked up a staggering 366 miles and raised awareness of mental health in the process.

Fiona said: “We have all really thoroughly enjoyed doing it, there’s not been one day where I didn’t want to go out and do it.

“Mental health is really important and we are keen as a club to raise awareness and highlight it. It’s a really positive fundraising challenge to take part in.

“We would definitely do it again next year and we would like to get more people involved. It is a really worthwhile thing to do and it’s a great thing for the club to get behind and be supportive of. You can walk or run, and do anything from one mile to thirteen miles a day.

“When we finished the challenge and had our cake, we just all looked at each other and said ‘we did it, we’ve finished’. We are all really pleased that we’ve finished and raised so much for Mind as a club.

“It’s been great having everybody taking part and people supporting us along the way.

“In the last few days of the challenge I found knowing I was near the end fueled me on. When I was on 90 miles on Saturday, I just thought I am going to do this. I set myself a target of 100 miles personally, and I did 102.

“There is a Facebook group for all of the runners taking part in the challenge and I’ve really enjoyed talking to people from all over the country, and friendships have been formed. It’s a really encouraging and supportive group.”

Fiona also runs The Lighthouse, a mental health support group for family and friends caring for loved ones. The group meets every second Wednesday of the month at 5:45pm for a 6pm start in the Sixth Form at Harrogate Grammar School.

The trio’s challenge has taken them all over the district, and there is still time to donate and boost their fundraising targets:
Run Every Day January has raised almost £74,000 to date, with over 1,846 members backing the challenge.