January 1 In the Press

Great start to New Year as duo raise £30,000 for vulnerable children during epic challenge

By Eleanor McGillie

Did you hear the one about the French man and the Irish man having a drink in a Cornish pub?  They had a bit too much to drink and just kept running and running and running

Peter McGahan, owner of Worldwide Financial Planning, and Stephane Delourme, Head Chef at Rick Stein’s Seafood, were enjoying a few Guinness in The Merrymoor Inn in Mawgan Porth on the north Cornwall coast when the pair concocted an idea that would see them running seven marathons in seven Celtic countries.

Little did the Guinness drinker and red wine enthusiasts know they would end up running approximately 2,500 miles, they would take 2.1million steps, their hearts would beat 3.5million times and they would eat 5.3kg of pasta and 2kg of porridge in the days leading up to each marathon.

And little did they know they would have 923,000 different thoughts in their heads while 23,076 litres of blood would flow through their brains and 500,000 through their hearts during the marathons and in training.

So, after a night in The Merrymoor Inn, the two Celts started looking at their idea more seriously and decided on which marathons they would run, what they wanted to achieve, how they could possibly pull it together and who would benefit from it.

After a few phonecalls to friends, Peter, 46, from Mawgan Porth and Stephane, 45, from St Issey, had a team of Olympic standard coaches, soft tissue and pilates specialists, 3D Gait analysis specialists, a sports psychologist, a nutritionist, a coaching and running programmer, a soft tissue specialist and personal trainer and a PR team on board.

Once this was in place, the Celtic 7 Marathon Challenge was born – a challenge that would bring aches and pains but one which would give them a great sense of achievement.

So flights and accommodation were booked and the pair started their training for the marathons they would run in seven Celtic countries – Ireland, Brittany, Wales, Isle of Man, Galicia, Scotland and Cornwall.

“Deciding on which charities we would support was easy for us. Children are the most vulnerable in society and if we, as adults, can’t look after them, then who will?” Peter said. “We are both fathers of three daughters, so we decided to dedicate the challenge to raise money for The Invictus Trust and Ellie’s Haven.

The Invictus Trust is a charity dedicated to the memory of Ben Cowburn whose struggle with mental health problems had tragic consequences in 2010. The 18-year-old, from Truro, took his life in an adult mental health unit in Cornwall in December 2010.

Ellie’s Haven is a charity offering non-medical short holidays to children with life limiting illnesses. Ellie is the daughter of the charity founders – her parents Nigel and Julie. She died before her seventh birthday of a terminal condition which took the life of her brother also.

Peter said: “These two Cornish based charities were set up by parents who knew they needed to do something to help other children and their families. There’s nothing more commendable and selfless. Stephane and I, like other parents, couldn’t even imagine the heartache but at least we could do something to help.”

But in order to help these families, Peter and Stephane had the gruelling task of seven marathons ahead. But with huge public support and a team of experts on their side they pulled it off raising £30,000.

Gordon Bosworth, a biomechanic physio at The Bosworth Clinic and former head physio of the UK athletics team for GB in the Olympics, was a key player in this challenge.

He said: “To undertake something like this is huge. Mentally they had to be ready and physically they had to be ready. Both men needed to understand what would happen to their bodies, what would happen to their thought processes and how inside they had to be strong.

“This challenge was epic and hopefully their strength and courage to do what they did will inspire others to be strong. Not having a strong support around you can be the difference between a vulnerable person taking their own life or not taking their own life.”

Steve Cowburn, Ben’s dad, said: “The money raised by Peter and Stephane has helped The Invictus Trust launch the Anchor Fund – a resource available to families travelling outside of the county to visit their child who is being treated in a mental health facility elsewhere in the country. There are no suitable beds in this county. We are truly appalled by the predicament that many Cornish young people and their families find themselves in due to the lack of mental health facilities”

Nigel Libby, Ellie’s dad and founder of Ellie’s Haven, said: “We are delighted to announce that money raised from the Celtic 7 Marathon Challenge will help us with building works which were to start on January 5 at Ellie’s Haven. The specially adapted property will offer relief to families with disabled children.”

The fundraising challenge ended with a Gala Night in the Eden Project.

Stephane said: “The gala night was fantastic. Thank you to everyone who bought tickets and thank you to the team of volunteers, the musicians and the chefs from Rick Steins, from St Moritz Hotel and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful challenge.”

 

ENDS:

Notes To Editor:

  • Stephane Delourme and Peter McGahan are both available for interview. Please contact Eleanor McGillie on 07709805379 to arrange.
  • For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | mgmpr.co.uk | PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Experts
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