A fundraiser that saw 101 runners from across the world run an hour each for four days straight has raised more than £21,000 for charity.
The fundraiser was the brainchild of couple Jacob and Harriet Wright, both 27, who are originally from Machen.
The couple, who now live in the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar, which is set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, set up the challenge to raise money for Save the Children’s Yemen appeal.
Runners from Wales, England, Ireland, Qatar, New Zealand, Spain, USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and the United Arab Emirates took part in the challenge, which began at 2pm UK time on Wednesday, July 1, and finished at 5pm UK time on Sunday, July 5.
Each runner had their own time slot, with many having to run during the night and through the rain, while runners in Qatar braved 40 degree heat.
Among the runners were Welsh rugby league star Rhodri Lloyd, and Welsh women’s marathon record holder Natasha Cockram.
In total, the runners clocked up 1,129km – smashing their 1,001km target.
Jacob said: “Two weeks ago, Harriet came up with an idea for a challenge that would see 24 volunteers run an hour each for 24 hours to try and run 240km. We would aim to raise £240 for the Save the Children Yemen appeal.”
Harriet was inspired by film-maker and BBC correspondent Nawal Al-Maghafi, who has reported on the situation in Yemen, which is a country in the Middle East.
“We thought if we could raise a few hundred pound it would be something”, said Jacob.
“Harriet was fed up of talking about it and decided to do something.
“After contacting friends, 24 quickly turned into 48, then 72 and finally 100. The 101st person was Nawal Al-Maghafi herself, who asked us if she could run a leg.”
After the positive response, they decided to up their target to £15k – but they didn’t expect to actually reach that figure.
“To have reached £21k is completely overwhelming.” Jacob said.
He added: “101 amazing volunteers from 11 different countries each had an hour time slot to run as far as they can to contribute towards the 1,001km goal.
“The time slots were pulled out of a hat and many of our unlucky runners ran through the night.”
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“The reason we did it is because children in Yemen are growing up in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and yet many of us are unaware of the situation due to a lack of coverage by the media.”
Xavier Joubert, of Save the Children in Yemen, said: “People are turning up with their children at health facilities only to find there’s not enough resources to help everyone, not to mention the shortage of PPE which prevents doctors and other staff from working.
“For over five years, millions of children have been battling for their survival every day.
“While healthcare is suffering across the board, children are being hardest hit, endangering thousands who need support on a daily basis. The world is standing by, and even reducing funding, while children are dying.”
To make a donation to the fundraiser, visit obv.sr/yemen
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