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Ragnar, the world’s largest series of overnight running relays, will be setting up in Sussex for a third time in September this year. And, with general entries now closed, the only way to get a place is through one of their charity partners, including Chestnut Tree House.
Over the weekend of September 21 and 22, teams of 10 will take on the 170 mile Reebok Ragnar White Cliffs relay. Starting in Sittingbourne (Kent), the runners will follow the south coast through the night on a route through Faversham, Ramsgate, Dover, Folkstone, Rye, and Hastings, before coming to the finish line in Brighton. Each teammate will take turns to run 3 times, with each 3-11 mile length varying in difficulty.
Last year 13 teams ran the distance for Chestnut Tree House, supporting the hospice’s work in Sussex and South East Hampshire. The charity cares for 300 children, 60 of whom are in East Sussex, all of whom are unlikely to reach adulthood. As well as their purpose-built hospice building near Arundel, Chestnut Tree House’s Community Nursing Team visit families at home, taking children out to explore their local community or simply giving tired families and carers the chance to take a well-earned break.
It costs over £3.9 million every year to provide Chestnut Tree House’s care and less than 6% of that comes from central Government. They never charge children or families a penny, so rely heavily on events like the Ragnar Relay to raise funds.
Watson Associates, an accountancy firm with offices in Hailsham and Brighton, entered a team of 10 for the event last year and raised £3,000 for Chestnut Tree House. “When we entered our team into the Ragnar Relay, we could not have imagined how much fun it would actually be,” says Suzie Vine, Director at Watson Associates. “There was a real sense of camaraderie, with lots of laughter and some very sore legs whilst making memories that will stay with us always. Knowing that we have helped this amazing charity, even just a little bit, gave us the motivation to keep going on the day.”
Entry into the Reebok Ragnar Relay is now only possible through one of its charity partners. To run for Chestnut Tree House, registration is free, with each runner pledging to raise a minimum of £150 in sponsorship. Teams can find out more and apply for a charity place with Chestnut Tree House here