On the evening of the Summer Solstice, the shortest night of the year, Saturday 20th June 2020, our Stewardess, hazel joined a small group of Shildon Running Club members on a challenge to run from Shildon all the way to Seaham on the north-east coastline. The objective was to set off from the start point at sunset and to reach the final destination in time to see the sunrise over the sea.
Each of the running club members had chosen a cause to raise money for, and Hazle chose to use the event as an opportunity to give a kick start to a new fundraising target set by the Save Our Stute Campaign to raise £30,000 towards the next phase of a renovation bid to ensure the future of the worlds oldest railway institute through the next century. Though the new fundraising campaign hasn't yet been formally announced, our Hazel, always keen to take the initiative, set about getting things off to a flying start. Starting just a few days prior to the night of the event she had beaten her fundraising goal of £500 in sponsorship just before the run commenced.
Running at night the small team of runners, though socially distanced, stuck together and looked after each other on the 29-mile route, and we're pleased to say that they all made it safely to the coast before sunrise as had been the mission. Refreshments and a good long deserved rest awaited them at the end.
Hazel's own update at the end was as follows:-
"Well, we did it!!! 29 miles in just short of 7 hours, we ran, walked and laughed lots along the way!
We had great team spirit, keeping each other going and all staying together, the miles just ticked away.
We had an outstanding team of support too, volunteering their Saturday night to spend it driving to checkpoints for us, carrying our bags with food, drink and spare clothing in. They cheered us on encouraging us from the distance.
Overall it was just an amazing experience, one I’ll never forget . . from setting off as a group and sticking together, getting to each checkpoint, running through the towns and villages at night, taking in the sights, music playing and everyone singing along, posting Facebook updates, the atmosphere was just fantastic! Chasing the sunrise and finishing just in time, what a feeling!
Thank you to each and every one of you who’ve donated and supported me in every way, I would do it all again tomorrow . . . (well maybe the day after!)"
We're immensely proud of Hazel and her tremendous achievement, and really appreciative that she chose to support the Institute in this way. Even more importantly we'd like to thank those that offered their sponsorship to her and us. It's a terrific demonstration of how if we all stick together we'll protect our Institute from dereliction. Congratulations are due also to the other runners from the club, and we hope that you all did your respective causes proud too.
(21st June 2020)