Corby rugby team mates smash fundraising goal with hike all-nighter

The money will be shared by Movember, Corby Mind and The Northampton Saints Foundation

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 1:00 pm

A Corby rugby coach has finished off his month-long men's health fundraising efforts that started with Movember by tackling a 60-mile 24-hour trek accompanied by a team mate.

Tom Cleary, 33, first team coach at S&L Rugby Football Club, completed his November-long fundraiser alongside first team captain Connor Fleming, 28, on the marathon hike.

Having already started a sponsored moustache grow, Tom decided to take on a 60-mile a week challenge but not satisfied with that, he and Connor walked through the night to walk the final 60 miles and publicise #datewithamate.

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Raising money for Corby Mind and The Northampton Saints Foundation, the pair were joined on their socially distanced walk by friends cheering them on their way.

Tom, who works for Corby Council as a Be Active Family Activator, said: "We are in good spirits because of everyone else. It wasn’t just our challenge in the end, it was a team challenge, probably I would even go as far as saying a town challenge with all the positive messages we received from so many people, people we didn’t even know too.

"It got people talking and raised awareness. Exactly what the month of challenges was about."

The pair were helped on the way with video calls, treats from friends and family with a 'night watchman' - Connor's dad Colin Fleming - who joined the team mates from the early hours until the end of the challenge.

Connor and Tom on their marathon walk

Tom said: "We are both very sore, with so many blisters and very achy legs. But we finished ahead of time and were very lucky with how mild the weather was.

"There was so much support from the whole town. People dropping coffees off to us and other treats without asking, people walked at various points all through the night.

"Connor's dad walked from 2am until the finish helping us to maintain the pace when we were exhausted. He was our night watchmen and dragged us along.

"21 people walked various stints with us throughout the 24 hours and we had so many FaceTime calls."

Tom in the foreground with Connor (in white shirt at back) with supporters from the day-night trek

Tom's Movember motivation to walk his target of 265.7 miles was to highlight the message that globally one man commits suicide every minute of every day.

He added: "The #datewithamate idea is to get people talking. Try to break down barriers. It's ok to not be ok and speak about that.

"We'd like to say a huge, huge thank you to everyone who walked, talked and delivered food and treats to us all throughout the whole challenge.

"The amount of support we received was incredible and really pushed us on our way and made it thoroughly enjoyable.

Friends boosted morale with video calls

"It got people talking and supporting and if this can end up helping one person or one family then everything has been worth it.

"We had so much support from the people of Corby and we wouldn’t have succeeded without all our friends, family and the support of Corby."

The have raised just under £2,000 and donations can be made to the charities via their online giving site by clicking here.