19th Feb, 2019

Charity effort to keep kids in the running

Rob George 4th Aug, 2018

A POPULAR city event will remain free for children after the event’s founder completed an epic 2,725 mile charity cycling challenge across the heart of America.

The Kids Run Free running events, which take place once to twice a month at Perdiswell Leisure Centre will receive a financial boost after founder and CEO Martine Verweij completed the Tour Divide challenge, one of the most gruelling fitness challenges in the world.

Martine and her husband Brian cycled more than 100 miles a day for 26 consecutive days to complete the epic race, which saw only 92 finishers in total.  The adventurous couple were inspired to enter the event, which is the longest off-road cycle route in the world, to raise cash for the event which offers free running for children aged two to 16-years-old.

Kicking off in Banff, Canada and finishing in Antelope Wells, New Mexico, the couple spent up to 16 hours a day in the saddle, battling everything from intense heat, violent storms and snow to snakes, black widow spiders and grizzly bears.

Despite missing their two children a great deal, they kept their fund-raising goal in sight and pushed on to the finish and have raised an impressive £4,055.00 so far.

As well as the Worcester event, the money will help support 30 local running events UK wide including the twice monthly Leamington Spa event at Newbold Comyn and also help develop and improve their Marathon Kids schools programme which also relies on donations and funding.

“Our local events, like the ones at Perdiswell Leisure Centre are at the heart of our mission to inspire every child to run and be active,” said Martine.

“All our events are free for children everywhere, but it’s a constant battle to keep funding coming in. The Tour Divide was one the toughest challenges I’ve ever encountered but knew we needed to do something to make people sit up and take notice of the important work we do at Kids Run Free.”

Martine finished as fourth woman and 49th overall with Brian finishing as the 45th man and 48th overall.

Visit www.martineverweij.com for more on the events.

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