December 6 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
A group of charity runners have successfully completed their 24-hour seafront relay.
The group, known as the Jamaican Hopscotch Mafia, took part in the challenge last weekend, running up and down the Esplanade and Queens Drive from their base at The Grove pub.
Braving often wet and windy conditions, the 20-strong Mafia ran 870 kilometres in total – with some help from the occasional mystery runner along the way.
Group member Matthew Maslen said: “We had a taxi driver who dropped some friends to the seafront and asked what we were doing, then turned up at 4.30am when his shift had finished and ran about 20 kilometres for us!
“There was another guy as well who’d read about it in the Journal, who turned up at 6am to do some running.”
The group took on the challenge to raise money for Royal Marines charity The C Group, which they had previously raised money for by completing the annual Commando Challenge and the Bath Half Marathon.
So far they have raised more than £5,000 for the charity – and they are hoping to complete more challenges in the coming months.
The Marines were represented on the seafront by ‘The Baton’ – a symbolic stretcher handle previously used in Afghanistan, and carried for the duration of the run.
The Mafia also achieved national recognition of their effort, being interviewed by Radio One.
Matthew said the Mafia found their challenge tougher than expected, and thanked their supporters.
He said: “It was a lot harder than we expected – not just because of the running but from the lack of sleep – but we had loads of family and friends come to support us, and there was quite a crowd when we finished.”
The group is still accepting donations for the C Group at www.bmycharity.com/jhm.