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He did it! Ambulance man Ray Edensor ran across Europe for charity
Ray finishes!
Ray crosses the line - with Radio Stoke

Staffordshire paramedic Ray Edensor has completed his aim of running 20 marathons in 20 days for the children's charity Dreams Come True. He ran from Paris to Blackpool.

BBC Radio Stoke followed the "parathon" every step of the way...

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:: The Route»
April 2004
Saturday 10th ~ Paris Eiffel Tower to Chantilly Town
Sunday 11th ~ Chantilly to Beauvais
Monday 12th ~ Beauvais to Gourmay on Bray
Tuesday 13th ~ Gourmay on Bray to St Saens
Wednesday 14th ~ St Saens to Dieppe (night crossing)
Thursday 15th ~ Dieppe to Hayward Hill (Newhaven)
Friday 16th ~ Hayward Hill to Nuffield Marsh Saturday 17th ~ Nuffield Marsh to London to register
Sunday 18th ~ London Marathon
Monday 19th ~ London Pall Mall to Watford Tuesday 20th ~ Watford to Luton
Wednesday 21st ~ Luton to Milton Keynes Thursday 22nd ~ Milton Keynes to Northampton Friday 23rd ~ Northampton to Coventry
Saturday 24th ~ Coventry to Tamworth (home town)
Sunday 25th ~ Stafford to Stoke on Trent Monday 26th ~ Stoke on Trent to Congleton Tuesday 27th ~ Congleton to Warrington Wednesday 28th ~ Warrington to Wigan Thursday 29th ~ Wigan to Leyland
Friday 30th ~ Leyland to Blackpool (Tower)


Quotations from people helped by Dreams Come True.

"Dreams Come True have provided wonderful memories, which will help them cope with the difficult times ahead"

"To see her riding the specially made see her happy face, brought tears to the eyes of everyone connected with her."

"Her future is uncertain, as surgical intervention has not been possible. She has not coped particularly well to date, so your gift has been a real tonic." - Mother

From the Dreams Come True website

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Ambulance paramedic Ray Edensor has achieved his aim of raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity - by running.

Ray with BikersHe ran 20 marathons in an astounding 20 days while carrying a 20lb pack - ending up in Blackpool with an escort from the 1 Offs Bike & Trike Club (right)!

It was all in aid of the 'Dreams Come True' charity - who help seriously ill children achieve their dreams. The Challenge is part of an even larger commitment by Ray to raise £200,000 for the charity over five years.
His route, day by day, is completely listed in the box to the left.

The Two Towers
Forget the Lord Of The Rings towers, Ray's route took him from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Britain's own masterpiece, the Blackpool Tower.
In the middle of all this he completed the 26 miles of the London Marathon.

On his way, he kept in touch with BBC Radio Stoke - and you can hear the interviews now, here on this page.

Ray spoke to presenters on BBC Radio Stoke on the phone along his route
You need Real Player to hear these interviews. Click for BBC's RP download guide
Ready set...! Leaving the Stafford Ambulance HQ, ready to go to France - talking on BBC Radio Stoke's Breakfast Show. Ray and the Two Tower team were about to run around Stafford town centre three times as a farewell run!

Day One - In France, under the Eiffel Tower, Ray talks to BBC Radio Stoke's Glyn Johnson

Day Two - In France on Easter Monday on the phone to Den Siegertz - running from Gourmay on Bray to St Saens, and sunburn has cut in...

Day Seven - England! Ray got safely to Newhaven and one of the support team, Geoff, told Den Siegertsz how it was going

London - Denholm Siegertsz talks with Geoff Brookes this morning, as Ray starts off on the London Marathon. Ray's knee is causing him a bit of trouble, so he's taking the run at a slow pace to enjoy the experience.

Northampton - It's Day 13, and Ray is starting to feel the strain. Den caught Ray running up to Northampton and promises Ray a pint when he meets up with Ray in Blackpool.

Stafford - Day 17: Ray has already been through his hometown of Tamworth, and workplace friends have now gathered to see him through Stafford

Warrington Day 18 Its not long till Ray finishes the Two Tower Run. With two days left before he completes his epic challenge, he tries to keep his spirits up.

Crisis Ray is assaulted in Wigan just days away from the finish line. See story from BBC News

Blackpool - the finishing line It's an incredibly emotional and noisy occasion as Ray, in considerable pain, finally crosses the finishing line - and Den was there with him
Blackpool Tower Supped and refreshed, an hour after crossing the line, Ray sums up the last month of achievement...

The Golden Mile
Ray was accompanied along the Golden Mile to Blackpool's famous Tower by an honorary escort from bikers and ambulance service motorcycle outriders, marking the end of his gruelling feat of endurance.

The town crier led Ray to a champagne reception in the Traditional Fayre room inside the Tower where he was greeted by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Blackpool and where Amy Clennell, a former Dreams Come True recipient, performed her song 'The Hope'.

How It All Began...
The 45 year old from Castlefields, Stafford took up running in 1994 after attending a series of bad accidents and the death of a close friend.
Not long after tragically losing his father-in-law to cancer, Ray saw an advert appealing for runners.
Macmillan nurses wanted people to run the London Marathon to raise money and so Ray took up the challenge and has never looked back!

Marathons For Fun
Did You Know?
• The average marathon runner burns approx. 2800 calories of energy!

They lose about 1.1 litres of sweat per hour.

A 70 kg person would lose 6% of their body weight if they finished in four hours.

Remaining hydrated is so important that if a runner loses just 2% of their body weight it can seriously impair their ability to run.

Ray's attempted this kind of mammoth challenge once before, after he and other paramedics made a 5 year commitment to raise money.
Last year they made £30,000 by running the 208 miles from Stafford to London in full paramedic uniform!

Always On Duty
Running in uniform means Ray's journeys are never dull!
In the New York Marathon he was running past as a lady who was choking on orange peel collapsed and turned blue. Grabbing his kit, the paramedic removed the peel and went on to finish the race.

As well as the more mundane requests Ray was once approached by an elderly gentleman who asked for a container to store his false teeth in because they kept falling out when he was running!
Ray's favourite story though involves the zip on his rucksack and a small man's wig!

Feel Good Medicine
One reason Ray and his colleagues want to raise money is their belief in 'Feel Good Medicine'.

After more than 20 years work as paramedics, they noticed that when patients had something to look forward to e.g. - Christmas their symptoms would improve!
They believe that making people feel good is a very important part of their job.

Dreams Do Come True
Ray has been inspired by the work of the Dreams Come True charity.
Founded in 1988 they've helped hundreds of terminally ill children fulfil many dreams; everything from meeting Mickey Mouse or a famous pop star to having specially adapted bikes made to give the kids back some of their freedom.

Ray's hoping his efforts will raise as much money as possible, so if you're interested in helping him in any way then check out his website.

To find out more about Dreams Come True visit their website
Catherine Hassall

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