Chris completes 30-mile charity run via 17 of Consensus’ services

October 22, 2020

On Friday, 9th October, Chris Gell, Operations Manager for Midlands 4 at Consensus completed a 30-mile ‘Consensus Marathon’, whereby he ran between all 17 of Consensus Northants based learning disability services, to raise money for Kettering’s homeless charity, ‘The Hub.’

Chris started the challenge at 9am on Friday from Blossoms service in Wellingborough, Northants, before running to another 16 services across Wellingborough, Kettering, Desborough and Corby, crossing the finish line at specialist Prader-Will Syndrome service, Gretton House in Corby.

He completed the marathon at 4.30pm or seven hours and 30 minutes in total.

Consensus colleagues joined Chris for different parts of the journey; Support Worker, Den from Blossoms in Wellingborough ran with Chris for 11.5 miles between Blossoms and Parvale House in Kettering. Claire Miller, Service Manager of Perrywood House in Kettering followed Chris in a support car between Kettering, Desborough and Corby and then ran the last 4.5 miles with him to the finishing line. For the last leg between 23 High Street Corby and Gretton House, a car with supported individuals followed Chris and pulled into each lay-by to cheer him on as he went past.

Colleagues and supported individuals from each service made banners in preparation and waited outside their service to give Chris lots of support and encouragement as he arrived at and left their home.

“The marathon was a fantastic way to lift everyone’s spirits and bring a smile to the people we support within our Northants services. The supported individuals at each service really enjoyed getting involved and preparing banners for the big day.

“They were fantastic, and their support really kept me going, especially as my legs started to ache after going up the hill at Desborough!

“The most difficult part of the run was between Desborough and Corby, which is the longest section and I was running on my own. I started to get cramp in my left calf and I kept getting updates on the distance I had covered from my running app – psychologically it was tough,” added Chris.

A keen runner, Chris first got the idea to run the Consensus Marathon after five failed attempts to gain a place at the London Marathon which has always been his dream and so he decided he would sign up to the Edinburgh Marathon instead. The idea to run the Consensus Marathon had come to Chris when he was thinking of ways to make his training more interesting and exciting.

 “As I work in Northants for Consensus, I began to wonder how far apart our services are and discovered it was 19.2 miles between my services in Wellingborough and Desborough and realised I could run between them passing my services in Burton Latimer, Barton Seagrave and Kettering,” said Chris.

“Then I realised my route through Kettering could take me past another five services so why not swing by those and then the other four too. Then I decided actually Corby isn’t that far why not run to them all – as a great role model of mine in life, Derrick Trotter, once said “He who dares, wins!””

Chris was also keen to use the Consensus Marathon as an opportunity to make a positive difference within his local community and contacted local Kettering charity, ‘The Hub’ who provide a lifeline to local homeless people in Kettering, to offer to use the challenge to help them to raise funds.

 “I chose The Hub because they are a fantastic and dedicated group of volunteers who provide food, shelter and essential items for 45-50 people each week in Kettering. They are based out of the Eden church and rely heavily on people’s donations to keep running,” added Chris.

Chris successfully raised just over his £500 target for the charity.

“I just want to say a big huge thank you to everyone who got involved in supporting me to complete this challenge – to Den and Claire who kept me company during different parts of the journey, to my colleagues and the supported individuals who went to great efforts producing banners and cheering me on – your support was amazing, thank you!”

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