On Friday evening, 26 June, Aberystwyth based Dic Evans completed his charitable challenge to run 1000 miles over 100 days during lockdown.
Evans is well known within the Welsh running scene, having represented Wales since 1965 right through to 2020. He is also a highly respected coach and organiser of local races in mid-Wales including The Red Kite Challenge which has incorporated the Welsh and West Wales Trail Running Championships over recent years.
Unable to stage the Red Kite event this year, and fearing local charities would miss out on the funds raised annually, Dic decided to set himself an individual challenge in order to raise money towards the chemotherapy ward at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth. He hoped to raise £1000.
The challenge he set to run 1000 miles between 23 March and 30 June meant he had to run an average of 10 miles a day, 70 miles a week. As one of Wales’ top distance runners in the 1980s having run a marathon PB of 2:17:57 (Glasgow, 1986) it would have been a comfortably achievable aim for him back in the day. But now 73 years old, and suffering from a long term injury, it was a highly ambitious aim.
Having only set up his Just Giving page a few weeks ago, the campaign quickly gathered momentum. As he neared the end many of his current and former athletes sent video messages of support including Welsh internationals Adam Bitchell and Tom Roberts. He also received video messages from well known runners including record braking ultra runner and TV presenter Lowri Morgan, Welsh Olympian and TV presenter Angharad Mair, and former international runner and highly respected coach James Thie – all inspired by his challenge.
On Friday evening, 26 June – a few days before his cut off date – Dic was joined by some of his coached athletes to run the final few miles whilst keeping to current social distancing guidelines. As he reached his finishing line at the Bandstand on Aberystwyth promenade he was welcomed by warm applause and cheers by a number of people whom had come to show their appreciation for his fantastic effort.
The campaign has far surpassed the original target and has raised well over £6000 already, with people still able to contribute.
“People have been very generous…there have been contributions sent from the US, from France and from Canada as well as many other parts of the world” said Dic on Friday.
“I was worried the hospital would miss out as the race [The Red Kite Challenge] wasn’t being held this year so wanted to do something to help.”
“A few injuries have been hurting over the last few weeks, but what kept me going was the thought of all the people contributing towards the cause. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their support and respect, it means a lot.”
Anyone wishing to donate towards the campaign can still do so on Dic Evans’ Just Giving page