An idea by Neyland Cricketer Gavin Rowland, a few WhatsApp messages between him and Neyland Athletic Club Steward Jonny Sutton and the Community based March In May was born. Thrown together at short notice and with Cricketer and budding Journalist Tom Pritchard on board as the ‘Number Cruncher’ what started as an epic challenge to walk / run 11,073 – The length of Great Britains Coast Line – became a feelgood event which encapsulated patrons from 70 years of age to Toddlers just out of their push chairs.
In total 233 participants took part with many more posting encouragement throughout the month. Completing the Coastline with over a week to go, they extended the challenge to take in the Coastline of Ireland and eventually settled on mileage totalling over 15,000. An amazing 46 people completed Half Marathons, many of whom weren’t particularly keen on exercise pre May!! Another 15 completed Full Marathons with 7 of those going even further and completing 30 mile plus Ultra Marathons – Father and Son combination Kevin and Jack Rogers (U15 All Black) leading the distance charts with a huge 41.19 miler on the last day.
Heading the overall chart was Neyland Legend Andrew “Moley” Cole with over 390 miles!! In total 46 members of the group hit over 100 miles, a further 4 hit 200, miles with 5 warriors join the 300 club!
With sponsorship being split between 5 charities with local links – Sandy Bear, VC Gallery, DAPS, Roko20 Academy and Paul Sartori.
Following completion of the epic challenge, Gav Rowland said; “We were amazed by the level of commitment and community spirit. It became bigger than we ever expected but also delighted by the effort everyday. Adults, children and families got out and put one foot in front of the other and went for it. People who hadn’t walked run or gone on a family walk for such a long time made the effort and really enjoyed it which apart from raising funds for some fantastic charities, was the most pleasing for us, quality time together is something special. Being able to look forward to going out each day and just being able to bump into fellow walkers/runners and saying a ‘social distance hello or quick chat’ has helped so many people. A fantastic community to be a part of, well done to everyone”