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‘Run for the Roof’ team smashes 100-mile ultramarathon raising £20k for Greenhouse

Greenhouse Sports

 

Jamie Peacock MBE, Great Britain Rugby League legend, completed an inspirational 100-mile ultramarathon – a double loop of London – over Easter weekend to fundraise for Greenhouse Sports

With the sad development that the charity had to temporarily close their Marylebone HQ, the Greenhouse Centre, in December 2021 due to safety issues in the Centre’s roof, Jamie pledged to ‘Run for the Roof’ in 2022. The impressive challenge is also helping to raise awareness of our charity, which is this year celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Running alongside Jamie was sports agency founder Simon Dent, former pro-footballer Sam Rents, Head of Partnerships at British Cycling Chris Williams, plus guests including rugby legend Martin Offiah, personality Jeff Brazier and sponsors Pete Evans and Gemma Betts of sales development company SalesStar.

The heroic feat was completed in 21 hours, taking place on Saturday 16th April until the early hours of Sunday morning, starting and finishing at the Greenhouse Centre in Marylebone, and passing by some of London’s most iconic landmarks. The Greenhouse Centre is a unique community sports centre situated in a 17th century former church and listed building in Marylebone which has served as the charity’s HQ since April 2018, after extensive refurbishment and conversion to a safe space offering free sports coaching and community activities to underprivileged children of all ages and backgrounds 6 days a week. During the first lockdown, the Centre operated as a foodbank to help feed families.

 

 

Jamie Peacock comments: “What an Easter Saturday. I can’t quite believe we completed the 100 miles. It was an incredibly tough 24 hours on the hottest day of the year. We went to some very, very dark places mentally and physically during the run, and it was the next level of pain. Your mind plays tricks that you cannot believe – confusing rocks for aardvarks – what’s that about?!

“But the crew of myself, Simon, Chris and also Sam (who completed 45 miles) feel a huge sense of achievement. None of this would have been possible without some brilliant support runners, including Pete and Gemma from sponsors Sales Star, and our support crew. We would have been dead in the water numerous times without their selflessness and ability to drag us forward. Really was such a team effort. They didn’t know how many times they got us driving forward… and how many times we limped into a checkpoint and came out the other side ready to go again.

“Starting and finishing at the Greenhouse Centre, seeing it under scaffolding and the sports hall blockaded off really brought it home. A sports venue shut and silent is just not right and getting it full of kids and energy again is so important to them and me. “If anyone would like to donate to this amazing charity – Greenhouse Sports – that would be outstanding.”

Simon Dent, Founder of HERO talent agency and sports marketing agency Dark Horses, added: “Initially I felt relief more than anything – we challenged ourselves individually and collectively to do these 104 miles and when it’s in aid of others you don’t want to let anyone down. Now I’m elated as well as exhausted! I do feel proud, but the greatest thing was the collective spirit and the teamwork across the 24 hours – we owe it 100% to our support crew to allow us this feeling of real positivity and accomplishment. Now we as a team want to use this to maximise our fundraising and get the kids who need the Centre back in it, doing what they love. It’s an incredible community sports venue, and sadly so rare in the UK for the kids who need it most.”

Beatrice Butsana-Sita, CEO of Greenhouse Sports, said: “We are in awe of Jamie and Simon and the team’s efforts behind us in this remarkable challenge on our 20th Anniversary year. The Greenhouse Centre is where our coaches deliver high-quality sports programmes and is the home for our table tennis club, as well as other sports programmes for young people and their families from the local community and beyond. Jamie and Simon have done immense work to help us reopen our doors and make a difference to more kids’ lives, and for that we are truly grateful.”

What an Easter Saturday. I can’t quite believe we completed the 100 miles. It was an incredibly tough 24 hours on the hottest day of the year. We went to some very, very dark places mentally and physically during the run, and it was the next level of pain. [...] Starting and finishing at the Greenhouse Centre, seeing it under scaffolding and the sports hall blockaded off really brought it home. A sports venue shut and silent is just not right and getting it full of kids and energy again is so important to them and me.

- Jamie Peacock MBE

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