In aid of our charity, Danny will set off from Brighton Pier on Wednesday September 23 for the mammoth running journey that was originally planned for April, but postponed due to coronavirus
The route will take him into London, through Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. He will then run into Grimsby to visit CatZero’s south Humber headquarters at the Digital Hub on Freeman Street on October 1. The following day, October 2, Danny will continue his journey, crossing the Humber Bridge to finish at the CatZero offices at Hull Marina.
Keeping up the pace of at least 26.2-miles every day, he will run into North Yorkshire, Teesside, cross the border into Scotland and up to John O’Groats to finish on Thursday October 22nd. The total run is 801 miles.
With initial plans pre-Covid to invite people to run alongside him now scaled back, Danny will be a lone runner with just three support crew and two support vehicles – staying in a motorhome to prevent social contact. The route will be subject to last-minute change if any local Covid-19 restrictions are in place.
With headline sponsors Linbrooke Services on board, Danny’s aim on this, his 50th birthday year, is to ensure the CatZero message of support, inspiration and hope is spread the length of the country. He stressed how it was an important message in such uncertain times.
“The ability for CatZero to help people on both sides of the Humber effect lasting personal change has been proven since our launch 11 years ago with hundreds of people of all ages and abilities assisted back into long-term employment or training,” said Danny.
“Such support will be needed more than ever in the coming months and years as people face uncertain times in many areas of their lives. There has never a better time to raise awareness of how our charity is able to offer that support,” he added.
With assurances that all the necessary health and safety measures are in place, Danny said: “We have plans to ensure social distancing and to discourage people turning up to watch, in favour of following my journey virtually. We are also equipped to change routes at short notice with little social contact. We just hope my adventure will capture people’s attention as we move up the country.”
The 30in30 challenge will be a grand finale to seven consecutive years of personal challenges undertaken by Danny and other CatZero supporters. In total more than £80,000 has been raised in that time.
It is hard to believe, but Danny has not always been a fitness fanatic, in fact he couldn’t run a mile eight years ago when he was warned he was on the verge of obesity. That kick-started his weight loss and healthy lifestyle. Following his father’s death in 2013, Danny and his sister, Nicola, decided to run a marathon together in his memory and that began the seven-year challenge.
“I used to be three-stone heavier and actually it was my dad and sister Nicola who were the runners,” he said.
“When you are taking on these challenges, or any form of endurance exercise, it really is all about attitude. I now see it as a privilege to be able to train and undertake these adventures,” he added.
“Working with vulnerable families has affected me personally especially as I now have a family. I have used the principles we have developed in CatZero in changing my own life. I am passionate about the work we do with children, young people, and their families – creating lasting change.”
The 30in30 headline sponsor, Linbrooke Services, is proud to be supporting such an amazing challenge. Lee Hallam, Executive Chairman at Linbrooke Services Ltd, said: “We at Linbrooke are honoured and proud to provide support and assistance to Danny Watson and all the team at CatZero.
“We have worked with many charities over the years, and very few are more deserving of our support than CatZero. They work tirelessly and selflessly all year round to provide unique and well-needed help and guidance to people less fortunate than ourselves. It isn’t easy to choose a charity, there are so many good causes out there, but having spent time with the team at CatZero, I believe the support they provide and the outcomes they achieve exceed all expectations.
“The team at Linbrooke are very proud to play a small part in Danny’s quest to raise money for vulnerable families who need CatZero’s help now more than ever before. We all wish Danny, all the best. It’s no easy task, and he will need true determination from start to finish. Good luck,” he added.
Key sponsors also on board are Adams and Green, ARCO, Beal Homes, Clipper Ventures PLC, Harris Lacey Swain, Hodson Architects, Horncastle Group, Informed Financial Planning, Marr, Pipers Crisps and the Sewell Group. It is also supported by WA Horncastle Charitable Trust.
Donate on Danny’s 30in30 Virgin Money Giving page
Follow Danny’s journey on Instagram: dannywatsoncatzero
You can keep in touch with Danny, who is continuing his training regime, on our blogs section of the website