21 October 2018   |  Last Updated 01-02-2015 09:59

      Sunday 01, February 2015

      Northern Quarter entrepreneur raises over £1000 for charity

      Darren taking part in the Garstang 10K. Photo Credit: 12in12 FB page

      BY TAKING on 18 physical challenges in the last year, a Northern Quarter entrepreneur has raised over £1000 for charity.

      Darren Ratcliffe, founder and Managing Director of RedStar Creative, originally set out to complete 12 events in 12 months in order to raise money and awareness for Forever Manchester, but ended up taking part in a total of 18.

      His initial target was to raise £250 for the charity, and Darren explained why he felt the need to embark on his fundraising quest.

      “Forever Manchester finds people who are doing good in the area and helps them do more of the same, and with just a little bit of money they make a huge difference to communities.”

      “Having visited some of their projects in Oldham where I live, it’s hard not to be passionate about the cause.”

      Infograph from http://webdarren.co.uk/

      The final event was a Santa Fun Run around Old Trafford in December, but some of the previous challenges certainly weren’t as mild.

      “There was the world’s longest obstacle race at 20 miles, and one of the world’s toughest at Tough Mudder, but the two really hard ones were in Manchester,” he explained.

      “Firstly, the Great Manchester Cycle was gruelling – four laps of the city centre totalling 52k and I am just not used to riding a bike – plus it was raining. The other was the Manchester 10k – the heat was terrible and at the end there were people literally collapsed at the side of the road!"

      But Darren, who completed the challenges alongside several others also raising money for the charity, was determined to make the most of it.

      “The best of all the challenges was Total Warrior in Leeds. It was at this point that myself and some of the others started really getting into the obstacle races and having a good laugh. There were lots of people terrified of things or really concentrating on being the best, but we were messing about throwing mud at each other. That’s when I realised just how fun the year would be.”

      And luckily for Darren, the challenges fit perfectly around his work life.

      “They were all at the weekend – so it was really easy to fit them in, and for training we just kept going to the gym as usual. The challenge was coping with being a single dad of two.  However, I do have a supportive family so there weren’t too many problems there”

      And if Darren could go back to last year and give his younger self one piece of advice before taking on the challenges, it would be, “Don’t eat burgers after the events.”

      “I put on over three stone in weight despite being the fittest I’ve ever been!”

      After completing so many challenges in the last year, many people would be tempted to leave it at that, but Darren has already set his sights on more.

      “It was nice to know there were a couple of months off for a rest after the Santa run – but I’ve booked back on some already and will be doing around half a dozen just for the fun of it this year, so it’s not really over. I don’t know yet what my one big challenge for 2015 should be – I am open to suggestions!”

      To donate, you can text WEBD99 £5 to 70070, or alternatively go to https://www.justgiving.com/12in12-ForeverManchester/

      By: Robert Bhamber