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Invicta East Kent AC and Ashford Athletic Club combine to take part in a charity 24-hour relay for the NHS

Members from different athletic clubs joined forces to complete a 24-hour relay in aid of NHS Charities Together.

Five teenagers from Canterbury’s Invicta East Kent AC and two athletes from Ashford Athletic Club completed over 200 miles over the weekend.

Cole Gibbens (Invicta), Immy Amos (Invicta), Jack Small (Ashford), Matt Stonier (Invicta), pictured at previous events, took part in a 24-hour relay
Cole Gibbens (Invicta), Immy Amos (Invicta), Jack Small (Ashford), Matt Stonier (Invicta), pictured at previous events, took part in a 24-hour relay

Invicta’s Cole Gibbens, Immy Amos, Matt Stonier, Alex Millard and Joe Griffiths along with Ashford’s Jack Small and Louis Small each ran 2x1 hour 43 minute runs, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, while keeping their social distance.

To ensure they followed lockdown guidelines, runners limited themselves to one hour out in public and the remaining time in their gardens and outside their own houses.

“As runners we wanted to test ourselves to our limits to show our support for everyone working at the NHS saving lives,” they said.

They have raised around £3,000 since doing the challenge.

Alex Millard (Invicta), Louis Small (Ashford) and Joe Griffiths (Invicta) also took part in the challenge
Alex Millard (Invicta), Louis Small (Ashford) and Joe Griffiths (Invicta) also took part in the challenge

Invicta AC said: “We are so proud of them all for taking the initiative to take on such an incredible challenge to support the NHS.

“Invicta’s athletes, as with everyone, have been hit hard by the current pandemic which has meant we’ve been unable to train at our track at Lifestyle Fitness/Canterbury Academy – athletes are having to be innovative and thinking of tracks they can use at nearby fields etcetera.”

Invicta club sprinters have been undergoing coaching sessions through social media while the middle distance group have had their progress been checked on the Strava app.

“The idea they are training together even when apart,” said the club’s spokesperson.

“Athletes have been able to check each other’s progress and feel the sense of community that they are all still training and keeping active.

“With many competitions being cancelled, coaches are having to ensure athletes still maintain high levels of training and keep motivated throughout lockdown, ensuring they keep active both for their physically and mental health.”

Donations can be made here following the relay. Many athletes have also taken part in the run 5km, ‘donate £5 challenge’ to also help fundraise for the NHS.

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