Amateur athletes from around the world have combined to run thousands of miles in aid of TASC, The Ambulance Staff Charity.

More than 650 competitors signed up to take part in the Run for Pride Challenge organised by Virtual Runner UK, which allowed them to build up the miles over a three month period between August 1st and October 31st this year.

The event, in which runners could take part in organised races, walk or run in their own time, or even use a treadmill in a gym, attracted entrants from Australia, Brazil, the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, and the Netherlands, as well as from across the UK. Together they raised £4,000 in aid of TASC by means of the entrant fees paid to Virtual Runner to take part in the challenge.

The furthest distance covered by the 658 competitors was an incredible 1,380 miles by a runner in Ipswich, while an athlete in Worcester achieved a total of 1,301 miles over the course of the three months.

Susan Wheatcroft, the owner and director of Virtual Runner UK, which she set up nearly four years ago, said:

“We are delighted with the total amount raised, which is higher than our average. It’s a great figure. This is one race that attracted quite a lot of people from around the world, from Brazil and the US to Australia.”

The Run for Pride Challenge, which invited people to run or walk as far as they can over the three month period, was designed to “give something back to our emergency services”.

Added Susan:

“One of our online community had nominated TASC for a race. Then, because of the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, a lot of people asked if there was going to be a race that reflected the work that the emergency services do. So we came up with this challenge in aid of TASC which was suitable for runners of all ages and abilities, whether they were experienced runners or doing it for the first time. This is our concept in general, with people able to take part in a race, run from their front door any time of the day, or even use a treadmill in a gym.

“Some may have gone out and run big races, but also added up all their training miles, while others may have just gone out for a daily jog. I set up Virtual Runner because I really got into running but couldn’t find a race to enter and had a big fundraising target I wanted to reach. So, I set up my own race and invited anyone to join me. It’s just grown from there.”

Jean Hayes, TASC’s Director of Charity Operations, said:

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to Virtual Runner and all the runners taking part in this race, for raising an incredible £4,000 to support ambulance staff and their families in their time of need.”

Virtual Runner works by people choosing a race from their website and then paying a registration fee to take part. They can then run or walk in their own time, anywhere in the world. Their results are then published online.

The link to the fundraising page in aid of TASC is https://www.virtualrunneruk.com/product/run-pride-challenge

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