Staff and members of the Diverse Fitness gym in St Marychurch, Torquay, were left exhausted but delighted after a 24-hour fitness challenge that has so far raised more than £3,600 for Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice. Inspired by member Ben Pountney’s ambition to raise funds for the charity that looked after his mother, Jill Clark, by running this year’s London Marathon, Ben and five others completed one set workout every hour from 3pm on Friday to 3pm on Saturday, with five three-mile runs also on the agenda in the middle of the night.
In the end, Ben, coaches Ross Millar, Ryan Bickler, Craig Wood and Lewis Keywood, and gym member Charlie Ginley were all shattered but overjoyed by the support they received from Diverse Fitness members, and family, and delighted to have broken Ben’s original target of £2,000.
Ben said: “We are raising money for the hospice that looked after my mum before she passed away and I came to Ross because I am running the London Marathon and said I need to raise £2,000 – and we came up with this event. We did 24 different workouts, on the hour every hour, and we did five three-mile runs amongst all of that lot as well. There were lots of weights, lots of CV stuff, bodyweight stuff – and lots of box jumps.”
Before Covid-19, coaches Ross and Ryan ‘endured’ a box jump challenge when they ‘leaped’ the height of Mount Everest to raise funds for Rowcroft Hospice. “There were box-jump memories,” admitted Ross, who owns the gym. It was Ross who devised this programme – “And he was pretty unfair on us,” joked Ben. “It definitely wasn’t easy.” To donate, please go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ben-pountney