The man behind the UK fundraising project, One Big Year, will tackle his third endurance challenge in as many months running the 102-mile length of the Cotswold Way without stopping!
Mike Needham, 27, will face an astonishing 12 endurance challenges over the course of 2012 as part of his fundraising project, One Big Year, and hopes to raise £30,000 for Meningitis Research Foundation in the process.
On Thursday 15 March, Mike will face his third and, some may say, his trickiest challenge yet running the length of the Cotswold Way in one go. Mike has already succeeded in completing two of the UKs most renowned endurance events the Tough Guy challenge in January, followed by Hellrunner in February a trail that took Mike through ice-laden ditches and treacherous terrain.
The One Big Year challenge supported by National Trails will begin at dawn in the historic city of Bath, taking Mike up towards his final destination of Chipping Campden, passing through up to three counties, several historical sites and through the famed countryside of the Cotswolds.
Supported by his One Big Year team, Mike will be kitted out in specialist clothing and sports accessories from his sport sponsors Crewroom and Zone3.
Mike said: One Big Year is well underway now, and completing the Cotswold Ultra-Marathon challenge will be an amazing achievement. The support of my family and friends will spur me on, especially when the sun goes down.
My aim throughout the whole year is to raise as much money as possible for Meningitis Research Foundation. The work they do is essential in finding preventions and cures for the many strains of the deadly disease. I want to thank people for their amazing generosity so far every penny makes a big difference to the charity."
Mike will raise money for The Meningitis Research Foundation because it is a cause close to his heart. At 18-months old, Mike contracted the Hib strain of the disease and nearly lost his life. Thankfully, the doctors caught it in time but Mike was left totally deaf in his right ear and profoundly deaf in his left, in which he wears a hearing aid.
The vaccine for Hib Meningitis was brought to the market within six months of Michael contracting the disease. I strongly believe that the more money and awareness that one can raise, explains Mike, then the less hardship people will suffer at the hands of this disease.
You can find out more about One Big Year by visiting www.one-big-year.org or following @OneBigYear2012 on Twitter.
If you would like to donate to One Big Year, please visit www.justgiving.com/onebigyear
If your company would like to become a corporate sponsor of Mike and One Big Year please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
One Big Year Calendar:
January 29 - Tough Guy http://www.toughguy.co.uk/
February 11 - Hellrunner (Hell in the middle) http://www.hellrunner.co.uk/hell-in-the-middle/
March 15 & 16 - Run the length of the Cotswold Way non-stop (102 mile cross country route) http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cotswold/
April 1 Open 5 Adventure Race (5 hour adventure race on bike and foot) http://www.openadventure.com/open5/2011-12/79_peak_district.php
May 27 - Edinburgh Marathon (26.2 mile run) http://www.edinburgh-marathon.com/
June 17 - Half Ironman GB (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 1/2 marathon) http://www.ironmanuk.com/uk-ironman-703/home
July 1 Trentham Big Half - (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 1/2 marathon) http://www.fun2tri.co.uk/trentham/index.htm
August (tbc) - 3 Peaks challenge (climb Ben Nevis, Sca Fell and Snowdon in under 24 hours)
September 16 - Ironman Wales (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, marathon in under 17 hrs) http://ironmanwales.com/
October (tbc) - Swim the equivalent of the English Channel in a pool (48km swim)
Nov/Dec (tbc) - Attempt to break World Records on an indoor rowing machine. http://www.concept2.com/us/racing/records/ultra_records.asp