Tomorrow, a cricket fan is taking part in this year’s London Marathon wearing full whites, pads, gloves and carrying a bat as part of a 14-month challenge to raise over £10,000 for charity.
Having started the challenge in February 2018 in Kent, he has so far travelled over 4,000 miles around the country as part of the challenge and raised almost £8,000 for the two charities in the process. The London race will be Rob's eighteenth and final face, having run in both Bath and Surrey in recent weeks.
“I decided to take on the challenge because I want to try and raise more awareness of mental health,” said Rob. “It’s a topic close to my heart as I have close friends who have struggled with it. This challenge also combines my love of cricket and Chance to Shine does amazing work with young people in schools and communities throughout the country.”
“It’s definitely the most physically challenging task I’ve ever undertaken but I'm really proud to be able to support two fantastic charities and I'm really focused on raising as much money and awareness as possible.”
Rob's current personal best in cricket kit is one hour, 36 minutes and he now has his sights set on breaking the official Guinness World Record for the quickest half-marathon in cricket gear, which currently stands at one hour 40 minutes.
“Breaking the world record would be amazing,” he added. “I'd love to do that and my times are getting quicker so I think I have a chance, but the main thing for me is raising as much money as I can for two fantastic charities.”
Rob spoke to former England captain Alastair Cook about why people should support his challenge and Chance to Shine in general.
“I think it [Chance to Shine] is a brilliant charity simply because cricket shouldn't be an elitist sport,” said England's all-time leading test run-scorer.
“Yes you do need a few facilities to play, however it shouldn't be elitist and should be for everyone. It's such a great sport to combine society – youth, adults, it doesn't matter, you can play in any team.”
Laura Cordingley, Chief Executive at Chance to Shine, said: “We are honoured that Rob has chosen to support Chance to Shine via his mammoth effort of running 18 half marathons.
“Not only is this is a huge physical feat it also links closely to our values of being ambitious and inspiring others.
“We can’t thank Rob enough for his efforts, which will help us continue to use cricket to help children and young people by educating, teaching vital skills, igniting new passions and uniting diverse communities.”
Rob undertakes a new challenge in September when he starts at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was eager to see this challenge to completion before starting his basic training.