Ron Harding

Ron dressed previously for London Marathon

Only a few weeks to go until we all set off from Salisbury and run the 26 miles to Winchester, joined along the way by the relay runners, the half marathon runners and the mini (5 mile) runners.

Ron Harding will also be with us and here is his story:

Ride & Stride: Clarendon Marathon - Sunday 6  October 2019

Why am I running the Clarendon Marathon? I’m asking myself that question right now! It all happened over a coffee after church at Winchester Cathedral. I was chatting away to a retired priest and we were talking about hobbies, I mentioned that I liked running and had done several marathons. He mentioned that our Vice-Dean, Canon Roly was looking for people for the Ride and Stride, could I run somewhere for the charity. So I agreed but where could I run? Firstly I looked at the Bournemouth Marathon, also on 6th October. Then my wife did some more investigating and discovered The Clarendon Marathon, far more appropriate as it finishes in Winchester. Also, this will be another marathon to add to my list, New York, several London and several Liverpool marathons plus lots of other runs.

I was born in Australia, an Electrical Engineer by trade; worked in Melbourne, then Papua New Guinea, back to Australia before coming to live in UK with my English born wife, in 2003. I have always enjoyed running, also played a good game of squash but for the past 7 years I have been running and enjoying the personal challenges it offers.

Now a little about the charity with the title, Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust or HIHCT. This is a non-denominational charity which raises money to help in the upkeep and restoration of historic church buildings dating from the 8th to the 20th century.

Since 1988, HIHCT has provided grants and loans in excess of £540,000 to help repair, restore and maintain churches, their contents and churchyards. More than 300 churches, chapels and meeting houses in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have benefited.

Ride and Stride is an annual, national event, involving people of all ages who spend an enjoyable, fun time (not sure if a Marathon can be classed as FUN!) raising money for the repairs and restoration to the churches and chapels in their dioceses, in this case it’s for the benefit of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

HIHCT are grateful to the many people who Gift Aid their sponsorship, which greatly increases the total raised; the tax recovered is retained by the Trust to add to its funds for future grants

More than 30 Counties throughout England and Wales are involved in the sponsored Ride and Stride. This takes place on the second Saturday of September between 10am and 6pm. This year the date is 14th September 2019. Cycle, walk, run, ride or drive to raise money for the region's historic churches and chapels of all denominations.

So although I’m not running on the Ride and Stride, I’m hoping to raise some money on my Clarendon effort to go towards HIHCT and in turn, preserve some of the historic treasures in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.”

For more information see:

Many thanks for your story Ron and good luck for Sunday 6 October.