A group of Swindon business buddies – and one from 10,519 miles away in Port Campbell, Australia – have covered nearly 5,000 kms to fundraise in memory of baby Oscar Paul who passed away ten years ago.
They all joined Oscar’s dad Karl in a sponsored running challenge throughout July. Karl and his wife Charlotte had planned to raise £10,000 for charity during 2020 – to mark what would have been Oscar’s tenth birthday.
They had a range of events to reach their target and then lockdown and Covid-19 scuppered their plans. Undeterred Karl was presented with a new strategy by his friend Andy Rohrer.
Karl said, “Having to work from home and being unable to ‘do’ a lot of things made me think about running and keeping fit. I decided to challenge myself to run regularly and Andy came up with the idea of running for Oscar. So we aimed to run 1km on July 1, 2km on July 2, 3km on July 3 and to keep going up to July 31.
“Doing this in Oscar’s name really motivated me and I knew if I could do it I would run 496km throughout the month. Then, to my surprise, various friends in business said they’d join me.
“It’s been amazing, and very hard work, very early starts as I’m trying to run my business as well. As I approached the last week, I realised I’d be moving up to six hours a day which was a challenge.”
Karl, who runs digital marketing agency and lead generation company Smarter Media, was joined by several friends including Andy Rohrer.
Andy said, “This was easily one of the hardest yet most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Being spurred on by the others was a major help and the real motivator was the reason we were doing it. This kept us all going towards the end during the most difficult moments.”
Thanks to the team effort, the current target of £10,000 has already been smashed with more than £13,600 raised so far. Karl and his wife, who live in Rodbourne Cheney, will donate the money they’ve raised to the Ronald McDonald House in Bristol which gave them support at the worst time in their lives when Oscar was born prematurely.
Those who joined Karl on his epic challenge were:
- Rob Curtis – of Smarter Media
- Ashley Cain – founder of Moovahome
- Andy Rohrer – founder of Tiger Plant
- Lee Flanagan – founder of Centraheat & CAL Solutions
- Marc Stephens – team leader at Honda
- Graeme Leighfield – founder of GEL Studios
- Matt Johnson – IT manager in the energy industry
- James Linley – railway manager for Crossrail
- Lance Tucker – Sunshine Window Cleaning
- Vicki McCulloch – TRAK Employment Solutions
- Sharon Cotton – from Port Campbell, Australia
Oscar was born at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon on 7th June 2010 at just 25 weeks and two days’ gestation. He was so small he was transferred to St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol to be cared for in their specialist neo natal unit.
Since Oscar’s passing, the couple have already raised more than £30,000 in his memory. They will add at least £12,000 to that total in 2020. Anyone who wants to support the Paul family can do so by donating here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/oscars10for10
Pictured above from left to right: Lance Tucker, Andy Rohrer, Graeme Leighfield, James Linley, Rob Curtis with Karl Paul and his wife Charlotte (front).