The 7in7 Challenge – A tribute to Make-A-Wish

In 1986, shortly after being founded in the UK, Make-A-Wish UK granted its first wish to Anthony, a little boy from Liverpool who was being treated for a brain tumor. Anthony’s wish was to go to Disneyland, and after months of treatment, pain and suffering, his wish was granted – Anthony created memories on his wish that he would never forget – helping him and his family through an incredibly tough time.

In the 32 years since that first wish, Make-A-Wish UK has gone on to grant over 11,000 wishes to children like Anthony who have or who are currently battling a critical or life-threatening illness. Wishes are as varied as the child themselves and have included the child starring in their own films, walking with dinosaurs, going on an amazing holiday, meeting a celebrity hero, or having a bedroom makeover.

Wishes might not be a cure, but that doesn’t make them any less important or life-changing.

Why? Because a wish is magic. It is hope, it is the smile and the laugh of a child, it is respite and it is a life time of memories for a family to treasure and damn it, that is something very powerful.

For me these children, their families and their stories are as motivating as they are moving. I simply cannot imagine what it must be like to face a challenge that no child or parent should have to. So, this challenge is my tribute to those children, to their families, to the staff and volunteers at Make-A-Wish who work so tirelessly to turn those individual wishes in to reality.

The Challenge

The challenge – to run from Liverpool, the City where it all started, to Make-A-Wish UK’s HQ in Reading, Berkshire.

230 miles (370km).

That’s 7 ultra-marathons in 7 consecutive days, wearing a different wish related costume each day.

The aim of this, and all the challenges I’ve taken on, is to raise £5,000 for Make-A-Wish so that they can grant the wishes of the thousands of seriously ill children who turn to them each year. Please donate and help Make-A-Wish continue to grant many more wishes;

I’d like to say thanks to Jamie McDonald, also known as AdventureMan, for the inspiration for this challenge. Reading about his historic solo run across Canada dressed as the Flash, raising a huge amount of money for Sickkids, has inspired me to do something a little bit different this time, something that reflected the spirit of Make-A-Wish.

Get involved

If you are local to the route and want to run a few miles with me or just want to come out and support, please do get in touch. You can view the routes here;

If you’re not a Strava user then you can view the routes on my ViewRanger page here;

7in7 Challenge – Day 1 route

I’ll be using ViewRanger to provide live tracking of each day’s progress, so you can see where I am at any point;

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The itinerary

Episode 1, Saturday 27 October – The Dark Knight Rises

– 09:00 – Croxteth Hall Parkrun, Liverpool

– 11:30 – Starbucks, Bridge Retail Park, Runcorn (16 miles)

– 14:00 – Co-op, Barnton (27 miles)

– 17:30 – The Salt Cellar, Middlewich (37 miles)

Episode 2, Sunday 28 October – Return of the Mac Bat

– 09:00 – Middlewich, Cheshire

– 11:30 – Kidsgrove, Staffordshire (13 miles)

– 14:30 – Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent (23 miles)

– 16:00 –High Street, Stone, Stafford (30 miles)

– 17:30 – Evans Park (Stafford Town FC) Stafford (36 miles)

Episode 3, Monday 29 October – The First Avenger

– 09:00 – Evans Park (Stafford Town FC) Stafford

– 11:30 – The Station Cafeteria, Chasetown (13 miles)

– 14:30 – Mocha Coffee Lounge, Sutton Coldfield (21 miles)

– 17:30 – Birmingham New Street (31 miles)

Episode 4, Tuesday 30 October – The Winter Autumn Solider

– 09:00 – Birmingham New Street

– 11:30 – Elderberry Blacks Café, High Street, Knowle (12 miles)

– 14:30 – The Durham Ox, Shrewley (20 miles)

– 17:00 – Radford Semele (30 miles)

Episode 5, Wednesday 31 October – The Web (hopefully not Wet) Slinger

– 09:00 – Radford Semele, Warwickshire

– 11:30 – Co-op, Fenny Compton (10 miles)

– 14:30 – Café Veneto, High Street, Banbury (22 miles)

– 17:30 – Wharf Lane, Somerton, Oxfordshire (31 miles)

Episode 6, Thursday 1 November – My Spidey-senses are tingling (that or it’s my knees)

– 09:00 – Wharf Lane, Somerton, Oxfordshire

– 11:30 – Annies Tearoom, Thrupp (11 miles)

– 14:30 – Isis Farmhouse, Oxford (20 miles)

– 17:30 – The Green, Steventon (31 miles)

Episode 7, Friday 2 November – The Man of Steel

– 09:00 – The Green, Steventon

– 11:30 – Pierreponts Café, Goring (13 miles)

– 13:00 – Tea on the Thames, Purely on Thames (19 miles)

– 15:30 – Thames Tower (Make-A-Wish HQ), Reading (25 miles)



I couldn’t do any of these challenges without the ongoing support of my sponsors (and family and friends), so once again I’d just like to thank them for their ongoing support and for helping me turn my ideas in to reality.

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