On the 5th January 2020, S&G Response’s IT Officer, Michael Bridge from Stockport, set himself a challenge in order to raise funds for Sarcoma UK, a Charity close to his heart. Michael set out to run 262 ten kilometre runs during 2020. Completing the challenge was going to be a huge commitment, running most weeks at an average rate of near 5 times a week. Michael had to change his diet and opt out of plans with family and friends to truly commit to his fundraising event.
Michael explains why this cause matters to him ‘My dad passed away due to this specific cancer 4 years ago and although Christies were very helpful, not much was known about how to treat my dad specifically. I’d like to donate this money to raise awareness of this specific illness and help Sarcoma UK to work on a better and more effective treatment. My dad was an amazing person and he would want me to help others and remember him by helping this charity!’
On the anniversary of his father’s death, Michael was on run number 118 and set a personal best to commemorate him, setting a time of 41 minutes and 41 seconds for the 10k of the day.
The only break Michael had from running this year was for a mere week, due to an injury to his shins in July, caused by the challenge. This is not the only injury Michael has experienced as a result of the running challenge. Just two days before he was due to complete his final run, Michael twisted his ankle. Despite the badly bruised ankle, Michael not only completed his challenge but ran the last five 10Ks in one fifty kilometre run around Stockport; beginning at 7am it took him around 5 hours. Michael arrived back at the family-made finish line at his house on Saturday 19th December after pushing through with his injury – family, friends and colleagues were all supporting him virtually as it was an incredible feat.
Michael was one of the first employees of S&G Response to sign up for their newly launched ‘Sponsorship Match Scheme’ whereby employees can create their own fundraising event for a Charity of their choice and upon completion of the event the business will match the amount raised up to £1,000 which Michael surpassed the target for.
In total Michael has ran over 2,700 kilometres in 2020 which included 16,318 metres of elevation gain (the equivalent elevation of more than four times Mount Everest) which took him just over 306 hours to complete. After completing the 262 10K runs, Michael commented, ‘I am speechless in regards to the amount donated, I set up the Just Giving page with what I thought was massive total [£2,600] to raise as much as possible but I didn’t think in my wildest imagination that people would be so generous to push the amount above £3,000. Thank you to everyone who has supported me as I couldn’t have done it without you.’
Sarcoma UK is a national charity that funds vital research, offers support for anyone affected by sarcoma cancer and campaigns for better treatments. Sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in the bone and soft tissue. It is difficult to diagnose and one of the hardest to treat.