Wednesday, 12 June 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Back-to-back ultra marathon fundraiser for determined autism charity staff member

An autism charity worker is set to take on an epic challenge nearly five times longer than his previous half-marathon fundraising effort.

Chris Sturm, who works at Berkshire-based autism charity Prior’s Court, will be taking on the 100km Race to the Stones challenge on Saturday, 13 July and Sunday, 14 July.

This huge challenge consists of two 50km ultra-marathons on consecutive days along the UK’s oldest trail, The Ridgeway, ending at the 5000-year-old Avebury Standing Stones. And, to top it off, Chris will be camping overnight between the two runs.

Chris took on the London Landmarks Half Marathon in aid of Prior’s Court in April last year. But this challenge is nearly five times longer than his last effort.

Chris said:

“I’ve wanted to run this event for a few years as I love The Ridgeway and liked the idea of the challenge but wasn’t confident enough. Then I saw that I could run it for Prior’s Court and help them raise money, which gave me the push to do it.

“I started running in lockdown, so I have been running for four years now. I’ve recently changed my training to incorporate more hills and strength training for this specific event.”

Chris is also a regular at Newbury Parkrun, often taking part with Prior’s Court young adult Brandon who has a keen interest and skill in distance running.

Chris is fundraising for Prior’s Court’s Performing Arts Centre appeal, which will feature adapted facilities to support autistic young people with complex needs to access opportunities in music, dance and drama and the life-enriching benefits this provides.

Individuals with autism face many barriers to accessing the arts – from light and noise sensitivities to understanding of social rules – and one aim of the centre is to mimic theatre environments to prepare young people to access arts venues in the community successfully. This is in addition to having the opportunity day-to-day to express themselves creatively in a dedicated, bespoke space.

Chris added:

“After 16 years at Prior’s Court, the young people still make me smile and laugh. As long as they keep doing that, I’ll be here for quite a while yet.”

Chris’s fundraising target is £1,000. Donations can be made at: www.justgiving.com/page/christopher-sturm-1702474369225.

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