One man’s determination to get fit has turned into a huge challenge to raise £100,000.
Following struggles with weight and fitness, Craig Evans, from Hambleton, set himself a mission to get fit and “take back control” of his life.
Four years on and he’s lost three stone in weight and completed numerous charity challenges in aid of The Christie – a specialist hospital for cancer treatment – in memory of his friend, Lewis Crookall, who died aged just 17.
So far, Craig and friends who have joined him along the way have raised £23,000 by completing the Virgin London Marathon, Great North Swim, Coast to Coast bike ride from Whitby to Blackpool, the National Three Peaks Challenge and the Great North Run.
Now a new team will take on what he calls the Great English Challenge – a 400-mile challenge which started this month with the Bowland 100km Challenge, a 24-hour trek through the Forest of Bowland.
Craig, 41, said: “The conditions of the Bowland challenge made it unbelievably tricky with in excess of 40mph wind, and driving rain.
“The event organisers cancelled it due to weather warnings, but I met eight like-minded individuals, also from the Fylde coast, and we finished regardless!
“Without those who had donated, I would never have completed the challenge.
“Next I will be running the Virgin London Marathon while team mates take on various distances in Blackpool.
“Then in June we will take on The Great North Swim in Windermere.”
The last event of the challenge will be a three-day, 300-mile Coast to Coast ‘return’ cycling route in September.
Craig, a local police sergeant, said: “Obviously Lewis remains ‘on my shoulder’ where ever I go and the thought that I can make this tragic loss into something positive is a real driving force, especially with the support of his family.
“Since I’ve embarked on these challenges I have also suffered numerous losses to cancer, including a couple of much loved colleagues, close friends, family friends, and my father-in-law.
“I essentially channel the emotion from this to take action by raising money.
“Obviously, making my family proud is a motivating factor, especially as my dad also survived cancer but has not been right since and has been poorly over recent months.
“Most importantly, I want to inspire others, none more so than my children for whom I want to be a positive role model and show them they can achieve anything they put their mind to.”
Craig would be interested to hear from companies that might want to support his long term objectives with a number of bi-annual projects planned.
* To donate , visit his fund-raising page: www.justgiving.com/craig-evans0323