Staff at Specsavers in Teignmouth, are vowing to raise money throughout the year for the RNLI – they plan to run four half marathons across the UK as well as collecting donations in store. Store director Simon Simmonds will take the first step when he joins thousands of other runners taking part in The Great West Run in Exeter on Sunday, May 1.
The 35-year-old optometrist told the Devon Week: “We have supported RNLI over the years as it is a cornerstone of the town, with us being a seaside location.
“We are attempting to run four half marathons this year – The Great North Run, The Great South Run, The Great West Run and The Great East Run. I don’t know how much money we’re going to raise, but we have already raised £250 online, and have more coming in from store. We’re also offering all RNLI volunteers free eye tests and discounts.”
Simon was reminded of the vital work the RNLI lifeguards do when one of his colleagues recently got into danger while at the beach.
He said: “One of our staff members recently tried surfing in Devon, and embarrassingly had to be rescued by a lifeguard while only a few feet from the shore.
“He was immensely grateful, but he didn’t look too cool coming in from the surf! Joking apart, we all appreciate the brave efforts of the RNLI and we want to support the charity, as you never know when you may need them.”
Father-of-two Simon has been training since the beginning of the year but, with less than a month to go until The Great West Run, which is now in its 27th year, he says he needs all the support he can get.
“It’s a real challenge to attempt all four great runs in one year,” he said. “I want to finish The Great West Run in approximately two hours and 15 minutes. It’s a big challenge as I am not a born distance runner – I used to be a 100 metre runner, so how I ended up doing this, I don’t know! But it should be a good marker for the other runs later on in the year. It’s great that we have such a big event like this locally.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor Simon and his team can do so by visiting
www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/TeignmouthSpecsavers or by contacting the store.
If you would like one of our RNLI entries into the Great West Run, or if you have already secured your own entry and now would like to fundraise for the RNLI while taking part in this challenging event, contact Carla Rowley on 01202 336026 or visit www.rnli.org.uk/greatwest for more information.