Bolton School Sixth Form Boys

24 Miles in 24 Hours for Cancer Research UK

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Sixth Form students Daniel Bentham and Piers Skeels-Caldwell raised £5,000 for charity with an endurance challenge that saw them run one mile every hour for a whole day.

Explaining why they were inspired to raise money for Cancer Research UK, they said: ‘We recognise the huge impact Covid will have on charities and therefore on progressing cancer treatments and research. A number of our friends and family have benefitted from new innovative cancer treatments and we know that research is key to that. We also know employed fundraisers are under huge stresses to maintain community funding given the economic impact of Covid.’

The idea of running 24 miles in 24 hours came about as the pair thought it would be an exciting challenge, which would stretch them both mentally and physically, and they knew that they could count on their school friends to support them by running a lap alongside them.

Daniel and Piers started the run at 4pm on Saturday 10 October and finished at 3pm the following day, after running one mile every hour even through the night. Describing the experience, they said:

‘We had originally planned to do the run in the summer months but due to Covid restrictions we were prevented from doing it together. In recent weeks, a local businessman, Ben Bate from Body Pro personal training, agreed for us to use his studio as a ‘run base’. This meant we could run to and from the studio and, more importantly, run together.

‘Having originally anticipated running in the summer we were looking forward to the shorter nights. Running in October meant we ran twelve of the miles in the dark! Running in the dark was much harder. We were really lucky to be supported through the night by volunteer ‘lap runners’ including our school friends, family and members of sports teams we both play in. This kept us going. The 5am run was possibly the most difficult when the light still seemed a while off! The final lap came as a great relief and again we were grateful to those who ran with us.

‘We are obviously delighted to have raised the money we have and have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown. We are also grateful to Mr Chilton (Boys’ Division PE teacher and Assistant Head of Sixth Form) and Mr McGinty (Bolton School Water Polo Coach) who helped us publicise the event through various School Twitter accounts.’

Daniel and Piers are keen sportsmen: both are members of the school Rugby Union first VX, with Piers the captain and Daniel vice-captain of the squad. They have played rugby together both for school and as part of the Lancashire Rugby Squad since Year 7. Daniel also plays water polo and has captained his country while representing England Water Polo.

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