It has been a highly successful year for DUAXC all round. From the performances on the muddy, treacherous cross-country courses of the winter season to the success on track in various athletic competitions, DUAXC has excelled and achieved some excellent results. However, it could be argued that the club saved their most impressive performance until last. On Friday 29th May, DUAXC provided a huge contribution to the MC24 24-hour charity relay on the track at Maiden Castle which was held in aid of RT Projects.
RT Projects is a Durham-based mental health charity whose work focuses on the belief that creativity and social activity are fundamental to a fulfilled life and contribute towards good mental health. They organise and operate a number of events within the Durham community which are always well supported by local residents. MC24 is one of the most popular of events that RT Projects run, as proven by the relaxed atmosphere the event emanates, and reflected by the wide range of participants. Alongside many members of the local community, the Durham Harriers, RT Projects’ clients and Team Durham staff, DUAXC represented a significant number of participants who put in a shift over the 24-hour period for this great cause.
DUAXC’s contribution to this event was organised by Izzy Hainsworth, once again reinforcing the fantastic work she has carried out in her position this year. Through relentless campaigning for the event within the team, there was an impressive turnout from University athletes to put in a few hours on the track. Following the example of some eccentrically dressed locals who turned up dressed as sailors, Superman, Batman and Elvis Presley, some of the DUAXC athletes also donned some unconventional costumes to add to the frivolities. A special mention must go to DUAXC Race Secretary Neil Holloway for temporarily discarding his usual aura of masculine authority by dressing as a Jodie Marsh-esque incarnation of Alice in Wonderland. A disturbing sight yet all for a fantastic cause!
Contributions were not restricted to those running on the track. As well as putting in their fair share of laps, other names deserve notable mentions. Ali Hills, Alex Hughes, Neil Holloway and Hainsworth struggled through sleep deprivation to stay for the whole 24 hours. Alongside all of the athletics, the cake sale overseen by Harriet Welch and Reece Straker raised over £250. Many of the runners had words of high praise for the exceptional cake that Reece Straker had baked for the event, which went down a treat for all fortunate enough to get a slice. Caitlin Mcardle was another key helper in ensuring the event ran as smoothly as possible. Finally, Bryony Potter, the brains behind the organisation of last year’s event and who pioneered the idea with RT Projects, returned to Durham for the weekend to offer a helping hand once again.
Even a few scattered showers of rain couldn’t dampen the overwhelmingly positive mood of the relay. On the day, the final total of money raised between the contributions of the Harriers, Team Durham athletes and staff, RT Project clients and the local community was estimated to be roughly £1,900. As a result of some late donations, the revised figure for money raised reached an impressive £2,106.
MC24 was a perfect example of the harmony between the local community and student population of Durham. By working together in this event, a lot of money has been raised which will be used to make a real difference for a cause that desperately needs the additional funds to continue their important work.
Photograph: Team Durham