Wincanton runners tackle gales in Blackpool to raise money for Stone Charity.​

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2 local runners faced both gale force winds of up to 60 mph, and being drenched by heavy waves crashing over them, as they pounded along the seafront at Blackpool on Sunday. ​

Chris Salmon and Tony Hill, work mates from Wincanton’s Distribution Centre for Screwfix in Stafford, were among the 1334 runners or so who competed in the Great North West Half Marathon in last weekend’s treacherous conditions along the Fylde Coast. Despite having a wonderful sea view along the coastal route of the event, parts of the wind and rain affected course were made even more hazardous by slippery rocky paths and rough terrain. And with the heavy gales in their faces along much of the route, completion of the course – let alone achieving a personal best time – was at risk!​

However, Chris (1hr 45mins placed 237) and Tony (1hr 48mins placed 299) battled bravely to finish the event in the worst conditions that either had ever competed in!​

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It was vital to complete the event, as this was Chris’s first half marathon in a series of 13 that he’s undertaking in the next 13 weeks – hopefully in a total of under 1300 minutes! This is what he refers to as STING’s Lucky 13, as for 13 consecutive weekends Chris is running in a total of 13 half marathons around the country to raise money for local charity, STING – Staffordshire’s Therapeutic Independent Neurological Group. Chris’s events include the Stafford Half Marathon on March 20th, as well as runs in London, Silverstone, Llanelli and Leeds over the coming months.​

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STING was chosen as Charity of the Year by Wincanton last March, and since then the workforce has been carrying out a wide and interesting selection of events to raise vital funds for them.​

Wincanton’s National distribution centre for Screwfix, located on Prologis Park in Stafford, pledged to support local charity STING with its fundraising activities following a vote by all team members at the site. Each year Wincanton, the company that deals with all the distribution for Screwfix throughout the country, chooses a charity to raise funds for. The 1100+ workforce puts on a range of activities throughout the year with the aim of raising a substantial amount of cash – and having a great deal of fun at the same time! ​

STING works to support anybody in the area with a neurological condition, which includes multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other conditions. The group operates out of Unit 22b on Whitebridge Estate in Stone, which is fully adapted for disabled and wheelchair access allowing members to attend regular activities and take part in group discussions, wellbeing sessions, and exercise classes, as well as being able to access neurological therapies. ​

Chris’s next event is the Decathlon Coventry Half Marathon next Sunday 28th February, and you can see further details of his amazing challenge on his STING’s Lucky 13 facebook page. ​

Anyone wishing to sponsor Chris can do this on localgiving.com on his ‘STING’s Lucky 13’ link, or by texting ‘HALF13 £10’ to 70070 to use JustTextGiving for a £10 pledge.​

Further details of STING and the work done locally can be found on its facebook page.​

(Attached pictures taken before and after the Great North West Half Marathon are Chris Salmon on the right with his running partner, Tony Hill)​