Southport duo climb sand dune 500 times for Claire House hospice

8th April 2021
Jonny Johnstone and Colin Reilly completed the Sandhill 500 in Southport to raise thousands of pounds for Claire House children’s hospice in Wirral

Two determined fundraising heroes spent an exhausting NINE HOURS running up and down sand dunes in Southport to complete the Sandhill 500 and raise thousands of pounds for children at Claire House hospice.

Jonny Johnstone, 51, and Colin Reilly, 58, tested their endurance to the limits at a sandhill in Birkdale which they climbed a remarkable 500 times between them on Saturday.

The feat followed months of rigorous training.

Jonny said: “After nine hours treading the sand dune, we finished at 7pm, having started at 10am. “We would like to thank so many people for supporting us through this journey, from our trainer Pete McDowell, main sponsors MW Henshaw, Build Right NW, markers on the day, Mighty FM, and most importantly the people who donated and shared our story to others.

“Our training had been through the winter, so it was a little more strenuous and tiring with the blazing sun, although the breeze did help in some ways.

“Continuous support was given from people passing by, social distancing was adhered to and we managed to maintain our task without any issues whatsoever. We say no issues, muscle rub was liberally used and we both hit ‘a wall’ at times! But all things considered, we completed what we had set out to do and our 500th trip back down together was greeted with rapturous applause and cheers from close family and friends.

“Apart from the donations, we have been fortunate enough to receive some fabulous gifts for a Raffle/scratch card that will be drawn also. Thanks to Tesco, Reputation Menswear, Langs@six30, Harrison Holiday Park, 600 degrees Pizzas, Norman Marshall at Tommy Fleetwood Golf Academy, and The Grass Barber.”

The current total stands at an amazing £8,000 for the children at Claire House Hospice in Wirral, with people being encouraged to donate.

This Friday, Jonny and Colin will be appearing at the No 4 coffee, cocktail and wine bar in Birkdale Village. The business is offering to donate 50p from every coffee sold on the day to their appeal.

Jonny said: “Our initial target was set at £5,000. We felt that this was realistic given the current climate, also appreciating that there are so many charities seeking donations and funding.

“It looks like we will be nearer to £9,000, and this tells you how well our challenge has been received by people.

“Colin and myself are sincerely humbled and extremely thankful that all our hard work has paid dividends in providing Claire House Children’s Hospice with a significant contribution.

“We look forward to presenting this money and even though we have raised funds for them before, we are very proud of this particular one.

“We are now considering what our next challenge is, but perhaps put our feet up for a few weeks first!”

If anybody still wishes to donate, please find the link below.