Two weeks ago local Devizes dentist and British Military Fitness enthusiast, Paul Hughes, took on his first ever ultramarathon, Race to the Stones. Paul followed in the footsteps of generations gone by to run 100 challenging kilometers (that’s about 62 miles) on the iconic ridgeway from Chinnor to Avebury along the oldest footpath in Britain. Not only did he complete this incredible feat in just one day battling against some unseasonably stormy weather, he has also raised over £1000 for The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign.
Bath-based Paul, who has worked at Long Street Dental Practice in Devizes since 2010, is no stranger to a physical challenge and has taken part in British Military Fitness for the last three years. Along with his fellow ‘BMFers’ he has entered mud runs and obstacle races- however this was his first ultra-long distance race. After a short bout of shin-splints, a runner’s nightmare, Paul trained tirelessly and planned his race carefully.
Paul comments: “I always like to have a new challenge to look forward to. In addition to obstacle races, I have run races over 10k, half marathon and marathon distances. The Race to the Stones, however was far outside my comfort zone and I knew it would push me to my limit both physically and mentally. I was not proved wrong! 100km is a long way to go by anyone’s standards, and an undulating trail with uneven footing took its toll – not to mention the thunderstorms, torrential rain and giant hailstones to deal with en route.”
Whilst this race was certainly a challenge both physically and mentally, it was his constant supporters and thoughts of the cause that he was doing this for that kept him going. “The knowledge that my friends, family staff and patients at Long Street Dental has so generously sponsored my for the race was a major driver in keeping me going forward at times when things got really tough. I have raised money for The Forever Friends Appeal during the NICU Space to Grow campaign and did not hesitate choosing them again. The RUH already provides amazing care for so many patients in the Bath area and further afield, but the new Cancer Centre will enable them to do so much more. I’m proud that I can personally contribute something towards their fundraising target.”
The Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5 million towards the build of an exceptional new Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. We have all been touched by cancer, if not personally then through friends, relatives, colleagues or neighbours. Each year the RUH treats over 2200 new cases of cancer from the hospital’s extensive catchment area. It has been a long-term aim to seek a solution to the current 70 year old facilities and bring Cancer Services at the RUH all under one roof. The new Cancer Centre will balance clinical expertise with the provision of a nurturing and therapeutic environment, making patients feel safe, supported and special so that they can get through their treatment with the least amount of stress, and their families can feel that they are well supported as well.
Laura Pearce, Events Fundraiser for The Forever Friends Appeal comments: “Paul is a truly inspirational person – running an ultramarathon takes some serious determination and personal strength. We are so grateful to Paul and everyone who has sponsored and encouraged him to push through every rainy kilometer. Each and every person who has supported him on his journey has made a real difference to the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. It is the wider public and the continued fundraising efforts that will help this pioneering building to be truly exceptional and vastly improve cancer care in this region. Thank you Paul!”
If you would like to sponsor Paul Hughes please visit: www.justgiving.com/PaulHughes100
If you would like to take on an epic challenge of your own, or get involved with other events, please visit or events page here