The East Midlands gauntlet: Stuart Ellis’s quest to conquer six counties in 2022
1 June 2022
1 June 2022
Stuart Ellis set himself a unique challenge for 2022: he’ll be completing a full or half marathon in every East Midlands county before the end of the year. Growing up in Coningsby and Boston in Lincolnshire and then settling in Nottingham, Stuart has lived in the area for most of his life. Committing to this challenge has allowed him to explore the diverse history and landscapes of his favourite corner of England, all while staying fit and having fun.
Stuart kicked off with a half marathon in Leicestershire in February, followed by events in Rutland, Boston, and Northamptonshire. After our Derbion Ramathon event in June, he’s due to finish up with a half marathon back on home turf in Nottingham in September.
“Every run for me so far this year has been very different with their own unique character,” Stuart says. “For example, Rutland was a huge lap around the massive Rutland Waters, whereas the Northamptonshire half took me in to the deepest darkest wilds of the county and across fields and wilderness - there was even a stampede of cows at one point!”
One of Stuart’s favourite things about running is the sense of achievement that comes with finishing a race or getting a new PB. He keeps all his medals on a big rack in the front hall so he can see them every time he walks in the door. He also loves being a part of the running community and the sense of camaraderie that he shares with other runners before, during, and after a race.
As well as being a great way to stay active, running provides an opportunity for Stuart to raise money for a cause close to his heart. He lost his dad to cancer not long before he started running and always said he’d do something to honour him one day. Stuart uses his races to fundraise for two different charities in his memory: the SSAFA, as his dad served in the army, and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Despite almost missing the Rutland Half Marathon due to his whole family getting Covid, Stuart’s well on track to finish his “East Midlands gauntlet” as planned. So far, highlights have included crossing the finish line on his first marathon and unexpectedly smashing his PB in Leistershire by 10 minutes. He looks forward to exploring Derby’s scenery, culture, and heritage at Derbion Ramathon, before heading back to Nottingham for his final race of the year. He’s thinking he might need to get a bigger rack for his front hall!
You can donate to Stuart’s SSAFA JustGiving here.
Or his Macmillan page here.