Weston’s Cullen joins other British Racing drivers to run half marathon for NHS
PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 April 2020
Weston’s European Le Mans 24-hour driver Ryan Cullen said he was pleased to have been part of a “great initiative and help a good cause” in the British Racing Drivers half marathon to raise money for the National Health Service, writes Josh Thomas.
There has been a simply extraordinary response in the United Kingdom to fundraising efforts supporting staff and volunteers for the NHS, as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on those on the frontline.
Many of the headlines over the recent period have been dominated by the astonishing fundraising efforts of 99-year-old World War Two veteran Captain Tom Moore.
Moore’s initial idea was to raise £1,000 ahead of celebrating his 100th birthday at the end of April by completing 100 walked laps of his garden, but exploded into an expression of national pride and support with the total passing £28 million from well over 1.1 million supporters.
This spirit has spread to the world of motorsport with over 50 leading British drivers, including Cullen, and former GB athlete Iwan Thomas, undertaking a run to raise money for the NHS’s effort during the current crisis.
“I just wanted to join in this great initiative and help a good cause,” said DragonSpeed driver Cullen.
“I had never run a half marathon before, so I had to prepare. My fitness is good, however I needed to build up to it and plan my route.”
The effort was co-coordinated by Formula E and GT driver Sam Bird, who reached out to his racing colleagues via the British Racing Drivers Club to encourage them to complete a solo half marathon (21.1km) and share in a joint fundraising effort.
By last weekend the initiative had raised over £34,000.
After a message sent out by former Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan to all the competitors, giving them his best wishes, the race began with everyone running individually in their local areas.
It was fitting that Bird should come first as he came home in a time of one hour, 25 minutes and 48 seconds.
As for Cullen, who was representing the South West, he finished in seventh position.
He added: “I was quite pleased with my time of one hour 37 minutes.
“I think I could have done quicker, but my route was through Clifton in Bristol with some hill work to deal with. However, it’s not ultimately about that, but raising money for a tremendous cause.”
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