Team GB Athlete Laura Weightman to Support Ward Hadaway Runners in Charity Relay Challenge

Posted on the 28 August 2018

Team GB Athlete Laura Weightman to Support Ward Hadaway Runners in Charity Relay Challenge

Team GB athlete Laura Weightman will join more than 50 runners from Ward Hadaway in a charity relay challenge between the firm's offices in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations.  

The 26-year-old British middle-distance runner from Alnwick in Northumberland, who recently won the 1500m title at the British Athletics Championships, is supporting Northern law firm Ward Hadaway by running the last leg of the 135-mile, 34-hour relay along Newcastle's Quayside with the Ward Hadaway team.

The athlete said: "I am delighted to support this challenge as it will not only be a fantastic feat for Ward Hadaway's people to achieve, but it will also raise much-needed funds for COCO to help provide quality education to children living in poorer communities in Africa."

Fund raised will be split between COCO and the Greggs Foundation (to support their Greggs Breakfast Club Programme, helping primary school children get a nutritious start to their school day).

The 'Three Points North' relay was the idea of Ward Hadaway's Corporate partner, Katherine Hay-Heddle and Commercial Partner, Matthew Cormack as a fun way of celebrating the firm's 30th anniversary.

Together the sports enthusiasts have cranked up around 5000 miles between them in various races across the globe, having taken part in running events from the London Marathon to the Tokyo Marathon, the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara and a 100-mile non-stop race through Yellowstone National Park.

Katherine and Matthew are also coaches with Ward Hadaway's in-house running club – the Hadaway Harriers. Each year they organise various events and races for members, but also run a number of Couch to 5k programmes for everyone within the firm to encourage participation.

Ward Hadaway's Managing Partner Martin Hulls will get the team under way from the firm's office in the Observatory in Manchester on September 13th and they will run to Wellington Place in Leeds and arrive at Ward Hadaway's headquarters on the Quayside in Newcastle on the 14th.

In keeping with the inclusive collegiate philosophy of the firm distances will vary with the shortest being less than 5km, so that anyone who wants to join in within the business can do so and enjoy it.

When asked what advice they would give to those considering taking up running as a hobby, Matthew said: "Make sure to have your running style checked by an expert store. This will ensure you get pair of trainers that are right for you and avoid injury. It's also important to enjoy the running, so trying new routes and running with friends and colleagues is a great way to keep things fresh."

Katherine added: "I started running seriously in 2000 after reading an article in a magazine about a 150-mile race across the Sahara desert. A year later I was on the start line of that race and fell in love with long distance running. It's important to find a sport you love and find good people to do it with. Running has taught me to be determined, adaptable and never to give up.  As a corporate partner I also find those races where I run through the night with no sleep useful training for completion meetings!"

The relay is also being supported by former Olympic athlete Steve Cram CBE, who is Laura's coach and also a co-founder of COCO. He recently sent the runners some words of encouragement via video.

He said: "I would like to wish everyone taking part in the relay event all the best. This is a wonderful thing to do to celebrate 30 years in business and raise money for a charity such as COCO at the same time."

Please visit our Virgin Money Giving page to add your support.