A serving soldier in the British armed forces took on an epic fitness challenge throughout December to raise vital funds for The Sick Children’s Trust, the charity that provides a ‘Home from Home’ for families with a seriously sick child in hospital.
Daniel Peck, 33 from St Ives, Cambridgeshire has raised almost £4,000 by completing the ‘496 Challenge’ in which participants must log one run per day throughout the month, with the required distance determined by the date.
Taking on the challenge devised by adventurer and multiple world record breaking ultra-endurance athlete Sean Conway, Daniel began with a one kilometre run on 1 December, with the distance increasing by 1km each day throughout the 31-day month.
After breaking through the 300km barrier with a 24km run on Christmas Eve, Daniel then completed agonising 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 kilometre runs between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve to hit the required 496km distance.
Commenting on what motivated him to take on such a relentless challenge, braving the elements throughout the festive period, Daniel said:
“To have a seriously sick child in hospital is one of the most hurtful family situations imaginable. I thought doing a challenge like this in December would be a good way of highlighting that, even at Christmas, families all over the country go through that hardship. The Sick Children’s Trust makes a massive difference to families in that situation, giving them a place to stay close to their child and I really wanted to support them.”
With daily runs taking place both around the St Ives area and near his barracks in Yorkshire, Daniel – who described the 496 Challenge as “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done mentally” – was quick to show his gratitude to those who supported him throughout.
“All the lads who ran at least one day with me, I cannot thank them enough for dragging me round. My fiancée Hayley, who works with the families at Acorn House and Chestnut House, the charity’s two ‘Homes from Home’ in Cambridge, was also amazing in her support, keeping me ticking over with hot baths, leg rubs and cooking meals. It is a cause that we both truly believe in, and I couldn’t have done it without her. It was a great achievement and I’m really happy we’ve raised so much money. The beers tasted good on New Year’s Eve, that’s for sure.”
The Sick Children’s Trust does not charge families to stay in any of its ten ‘Homes from Home’, however it does cost the charity £40 to support a family for one night, and that is only rising with the cost-of-living crisis. Head of Fundraising Vanessa Buckley said:
“To run 496km in 31 days is a staggering achievement, but to do it throughout the Christmas period takes an extraordinary level of commitment and motivation. We are all in awe of Daniel for taking on this challenge at this time of year, and for the wonderful amount he has managed to raise for our ‘Homes from Home’, which are so much more than just a place for families to stay. Our friendly, caring staff provide vital support to families when they need it most while alleviating financial worries and some of the additional stresses that come from having a seriously ill child in hospital.
“As a charity we rely on the generosity of our supporters and fundraisers, like Daniel, to make sure we can continue supporting families while their child is seriously sick in hospital. We cannot thank him enough for taking on such an incredible challenge in support of our ‘Homes from Home.”
More information about Daniel’s fundraising can be found on his Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/page/danielskmchallenge
Daniel Peck (left) pictured here with running partner Tom Wood. C Daniel Peck