Lifelong runner Paul Addicott has run hundreds of races in his life, but this year he is preparing to take to the saddle at the iconic 2017 Prudential RideLondon – Surrey 100, an annual 3-day festival of cycling taking place between 28th-30th July. It is a challenge that will undoubtedly take non-cyclist Paul out of his comfort zone, but one in which he hopes to raise significant funds for charity through a rather ingenious raffle.
Prudential RideLondon is the largest annual cycling fundraising event in the world, so Paul has selected the perfect race to raise money and awareness for his chosen charity, Samaritans.
However, instead of appealing for non-specific monetary donations, Paul is offering a £10 sponsorship option in return for entry into a prize draw to win one of many prizes he has secured from top-name sporting brands. With over 20 prizes donated so far, ranging from sports kit and nutrition to race entry and vouchers, anyone who contributes to Paul’s £500 target has a good chance of collecting a decent prize in return. It’s a win-win situation.
“I find it awkward to ask for money for an event, as I take part in events all the time,” admits Paul. “So I thought that if I reached out to brands to donate prizes, it would be a great way to give something back to all those who are kind enough to sponsor me, whilst giving some of my favourite sporting brands and events some excellent exposure.”
The list of prizes to date includes:
- a Marathon Talk kit bundle from Xempo
- a hoody, t-shirt and buff from Red Squirrel Running
- a hoody and t-shirt from UKTriChat
- two prizes of a bottle of DOMS Ease Oil
- a prize from Fitness Rewards
- a nutrition box from Xmiles
- a £25 voucher for Energy Snacks
- a mixed case of 12 Grub snack bars
- a selection of Meatsnacks goodies
- entry to any Mad Hatter sports event
- Ealing Half Marathon entry
- entry to any night run from Running Adventures
- entry to the Enigma Need for Speed Marathon or Half Marathon
- entry to the SBR Grimsthorpe 10
- two prizes of entry to the Henley Half Marathon or 10K Trail Run.
Paul’s entry into Ride London 100 comes in the race’s fifth year and after five rejections via the public ballot. With the race passing very close to his home, and the ride presenting an irresistible challenge for someone who is far more likely to be found pacing races on foot, Paul had always wanted to take part. He did complete an Ironman in 2016, but this is the first time that he will be concentrating on cycling, which he admits is his worst discipline. This will be a real challenge to push him to his limits.
The event also holds a special memory for Paul as two years ago his daughter was born during race weekend, which he remembers caused a worry with the road closures en route to hospital – fortunately, however, the timings all worked out fine. So when Paul received his fifth rejection for the 2017 event, he decided this was the year to ride for charity.
Everything clicked into place when Paul discovered that Samaritans was one of the race’s official charities. Having worked in the Prison Service for 10 years, Paul is acutely aware of the great work Samaritans does in providing a safe place, around the clock, for anyone struggling to cope, wherever and whoever they are. He knew instantly that the Prudential RideLondon 100 would be the one race where he raises money, and that it would be for a charity close to his heart.
“Samaritans plays an important part in our prison system,” explains Paul. “They are accessible to prisoners just as they are to anyone else, and they go even further by training prisoners to play a valuable role on the inside. These men and women act as listeners and are there to support others in their times of need. I have had a lot of dealings with Samaritans and they really do save lives; I have seen this first-hand on many occasions.”
Paul’s fundraising page is: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Pickupthepacepaul.
Paul Addicott – Beyond Prudential RideLondon
The Prudential Ride London 100 is just one of 23 events that Paul has lined up for 2017 so far. The others are mainly running races, and many of these will see Paul pacing other runners rather than attempting a PB himself. Although he has achieved some impressive times as a solo runner – his PB for a half marathon currently standing at 1 hour 23 mins, from the flat and fast Vitality Bath Half Marathon – Paul has come to love pacing races and helping others achieve their goals.
In 2017 Paul will be pacing the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon on 2nd April, the Virgin Money London Marathon, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Liverpool Marathon and the Berlin Marathon, among others.
He will also be spending a week in Cyprus to combine the great opportunity for a family holiday with a place in the OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO on 19th March. Entering this popular event as a runner rather than a pacer, Paul is looking forward to spending time with his wife and two children whilst still indulging in his love of running.
“This will be the fourth year in a row that we try to base our holidays around running,” Paul confirms. “There is nothing better than crossing the finish line with my family there to cheer me on. The children love to see what I do and if the event covers a whole weekend my wife, Kirsty, also tries to enter a race. In Limassol she is hoping to run the Corporate 5K the day before my marathon. We’re really looking forward to our time in Limassol as it offers everything we would want in a holiday – sun, sea, beaches, delicious food, history and culture – as well as being a superb race destination.”
For now, Paul is getting some training in for a long-awaited race and a deserving charity that he hopes to do proud.
Sponsor Paul Addicott or Donate a Prize
The raffle is now live and anyone wishing to enter should go to Paul’s raffle page to find the answer to the prize draw question, which should be left as a comment alongside a £10 donation on his JustGiving page. The draw will be held on 10th April 2017.
Full details of Paul’s Prudential RideLondon 100 challenge and raffle can be found on his blog.