Edd smiling with the Isle of Wight cliffs and coastline behind him

Edd: My 106km Ultra Challenge for Winston’s Wish

Edd completed the 106km Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge and raised £1,220 for Winston’s Wish. Edd’s dad died when he was younger and he wanted to raise money to help Winston’s Wish to support other young people to cope with their grief.

Tell us about your fundraising challenge for Winston’s Wish

I took part in the Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge at the end of April. I did the full continuous 106km loop around the island and ran it in 17 hours and 11 minutes. The furthest I’d ever run before was 58km, so this was my biggest run to date – and probably will be for a little while!

Why did you chose to support Winston’s Wish?

I first found out about Winston’s Wish in 2019 when I was looking for a charity to run the Bristol Half Marathon for. As I read more about the work they do, it really touched me. My father passed away when I was in my mid-20s and it was a sad time for me and my family. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for a child or young person to lose a parent or sibling.

I thought it was such a great cause and really wanted to support the work they do. So, it was great to be able to fundraise for them again as part of the Isle of Wight Challenge.

Paper with a list of names held in front of the start line
Edd carried a list of names of young people supported by Winston’s Wish to remind him why he was doing this challenge.


How did you find fundraising?

Thankfully, the fundraising went really well. Given the current economic climate and high cost of living I was a little apprehensive about asking for donations. But I was truly humbled by the warm responses that I got. There were people that I haven’t spoken to in years chipping in, as well as members of the online running community that I’ve never even spoken to in person who made kind donations.

I sent regular ‘training update’ emails at work and also put reminders up on Facebook and Instagram to keep it in people’s minds. I felt as though people warmed to it because it was a big challenge and for a really worthy cause.

How did you find training for such a tough challenge?

I didn’t follow any training plans for this challenge as I didn’t want the added pressure of feeling as though I’d fallen behind if I missed a run. Instead, I just made sure I got a decent number of miles in each week and listened to my body. So, if I felt tired then I’d do my run another day. I found this approach worked well for me because it gave me the freedom and mindset to just go out and run.

The training for this challenge was very different to the training for the Bristol Half because I had to be mentally and physically prepared. The long solo training runs definitely helped, as they gave me some decent ‘time on feet’ and also allowed me to train my mind to be ready.

Edd in a Winston's Wish top standing on top of a cliffWhat were the most and least enjoyable parts of the experience?

The Isle of Wight was beautiful and I really enjoyed the scenery. The camaraderie between the participants was amazing as everyone helped each other along the way.

Honestly, there were no least enjoyable parts. I genuinely enjoyed the whole experience. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty tough going in places! From 65km onwards my body was tired and I was aching all over, but I was absolutely buzzing and still in high spirits. I’ll never forget the sense of achievement I felt when crossing that finish line. It was just a humbling experience from start to finish.

Do you have any advice for anyone else thinking of taking on a challenge for Winston’s Wish?

If you’re thinking of taking on this challenge or any other ultramarathon or long distance, then my advice is to break the distance down checkpoint by checkpoint. Get to the first checkpoint/aid station, refuel and rest and then make your way to the next one and so on. Make sure you’re on top off your fuelling and hydration as well.

The main advice I’d give for taking on a challenge for Winston’s Wish is to just enjoy it. Remember why you’re doing it and that everyone who has donated and sent messages of encouragement and support believes in you and wants you to succeed.

There are lots of Ultra Challenges across the UK. If you’ve been inspired to take on a fundraising challenge, you can sign up to an Ultra Challenge or visit our Fundraising page to find out more.