This story, like so many others, starts with a chance encounter, a conversation about the weather and a couple of glasses of wine.
It was a sunny Saturday morning, I'd just had a lovely gentle jog over the clifftops to Deal Market, bought a fresh-baked Swedish bun, enjoyed a coffee and watched the world go by for a while.
After a time it was time to set off on the return leg when I happened to walk past the lovely Kath and Pascal at their wine stall in the market.
"Try a little rosé?" they said.
So, as some of you may know I'm not much of a drinker and well "it was a lovely day" and "the rosé was remarkably well chilled", one thing led to another and before I knew it, I'd been introduced to fellow rosé imbiber and Clifftop Challenge oraniser Mike Griggs and signed-up for an ULTRA-MARATHON 27 days hence!
The hangover lasted until Monday.
Then ensued phone calls, emails, good advice, bad advice, bank details, race numbers... G Oakley - Ultra Marathon Undergraduate!
And it's all in such a great cause, The Clifftop Challenge is organised by mother-of-two Chantele Rashbrook. Chantele has been undergoing pioneering treatment for secondary metastatic breast cancer since July 2014, when her initial cancer returned shortly after receiving her one year all clear.
Offered a drug called 'Kadcyla' initially through the Cancer Care Fund, this drug faced the threat of withdrawal due to a lack of funds. However through tireless campaigning led by Breast Cancer Now as well as Chantele and the 'BC' girls, 'Kadcyla' is now available through the NHS.
Back in 2014, whilst still undergoing treatment, Chantele organised the first 'Clifftop Challenge' with her husband Phil. A 55 mile run from Hastings to Deal along the entire coastline, with various other distances for all abilities and a day of entertainment and fundraising activities.
So, it would be AMAZING it if every one of my friends could just spare a few minutes and a fiver or a tenner to help the cause....
I'll be running the 36 mile ULTRA MARATHON from down on the Romney Marsh starting at 6am on Saturday 16th June 2018 then heading up Lympne Hill into the Kent Downs then over to Capel, down into Dover, up to the clifftops, passing by St. Margaret's Bay, through Kingsdown and finishing on Walmer Green by the bandstand with any luck sometime around 2pm!
Your support is more than welcome along the route, at the Battle of Britain Memorial in Capel around 10.30am, The Yacht Club in Dover around 11.30am, Dover Patrol Memorial at St. Margaret's at 12.30pm
Or come and party at the finish line where the organisers are laying on a great afternoon of local music, food and drink.
Entertainment starts around 2pm and runs through until 7pm so bring friends and family and settle down for a fun filled afternoon!
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