TWO super-fit staff from Yellow Buses raised £1,800 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) by running for 50 miles – without stopping.
The total was boosted by £200 from the bus company’s Carbon Stoppers fund, a joint Yellow Buses and Daily Echo initiative.
Charities that benefit from the money are chosen by Echo readers and since 2008 more than £10,000 has been handed out to nearly 50 good causes.
To raise the £1,800, Mike Collins and Ray Jones took on the ‘Lakeland 50’ – a trail race that involves running 50 miles over hostile terrain in the Lake District.
Mike, 42, a coaches and training manager, and Ray, 52, a bus driver, finished the course in 17 hours and 44 minutes – nearly four hours quicker than their previous best last year.
Mike and Ray’s efforts meant intensive training and then a non-stop, 50 mile tab with much of it spent in total darkness.
They began at midday and by 9pm it was raining, but they ploughed on through the night, finally finishing just before 6am.
Mike said: “It involves trail running through the Lake District non-stop, using a compass to navigate.
“Ray and I did some specialist training and used slightly different tactics from last year when we did it, and ran almost four hours faster than the previous year.
“The weather was not too bad but at 9pm it started to rain and there were showers right until we finished.
“There was a field of about 600 and we carried kit weighing 10lbs, which included waterproofs.
“After we finished we ate, had a shower then slept all the way back.
“We raised £1,800 in total including a large donation from the Carbon Stoppers fund.”
Each week Yellow Buses holds a ‘Thank You Thursday’ when every trip taken on the day contributes to a separately administered Community Chest.
The bus company has pledged a minimum donation of £50 per week to the Carbon Stoppers fund with Daily Echo readers invited to nominate worthy recipients.
Apart from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, other Carbon Stopper recipients over the last four years include Bournemouth Talking Newspaper, Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, Cherry Tree Nursery, Life Education Wessex, Hospital Radio Bedside, Waggy Tails Rescue, Bournemouth People First, Nile 20, Rebound Gym Club, Caring Canines, Pink Champagne Dragon Boat Team, S.P.R.I.N.G, Bournemouth Food Bank, Help & Care, thehub Goes Global, 2 Close Together, PHA-UK, Bournemouth Concert Brass, Everyman, East Dorset Alzheimer’s Society, Dorset Rape Crisis Line, Fernheath Play Association, Brendoncare, Diverse Abilities Plus, Coping with CHAOS, Dorset ME Support Group, Somerford Children’s Centre, Springbourne Family Centre, LV=Streetwise, Everyman, Vita Nova and Bournemouth & Poole Bipolar Self-Help Group, The Gunstone Trust, Wimborne in Bloom, Bournemouth Young Carers, BCHA, Avonbourne College’s Shelley Project, La Leche League, Seabrook Seals Open Water Swimming Group, Poole and District Children’s Cancer Fund and Who Let The Dad’s Out.