The HOPE Tour: 12 Marathons in 12 Days

8 November 2012

A team of recreational runners will be tackling the biggest challenge of their lives in December in an attempt to raise £250,000 for charity HOPEHIV.

The HOPE Tour, commencing in Harrogate on 12 December, comprises an astonishing 12 marathons in 12 days, each runner attempting to cover 314.4 miles.



Kerry McCarthy’s (33), whose sister Nicola Grant runs an artisan bakery on Brackenthwaite Lane in Harrogate (, will be joined by Sarah O’Neill (32) whose family also live in Harrogate, , Meredith Bochmann (35), and Matt Pullen (37). The journey begins from Harrogate War Memorial on 12 December, winding down the UK through major towns and cities, before crossing the finish line on the Mall, London in a bid to successfully complete this epic challenge on 23 December.

Kerry says:

We will have a warm family send-off from Harrogate town centre, run through Valley Gardens and the Stray, before achallenging ascent at Poole Bank, then onwards to Leeds through Headingley, Hyde Park and past the imposing Leeds University buildings. The marathon ends at Leeds Town Hall, where we hope to be greeted with a pint of Yorkshire Pride!

The HOPE Tour runners are looking for as many people to join them on their challenge; if you’re looking for a physical challenge ahead of Christmas why not run 5km, 10km, half or a full marathon with the team. To sign up for The HOPE Tour or to find out how you can support the team along the route please visit and

The HOPE Tour represents the final piece in a series of 12 challenges the team have undertaken as part of a yearlong fundraiser for HOPEHIV: the 12in12 (

Joined by a further 24 team members, challenges throughout the year have ranged from cycling London to Paris, running marathons, triathlons and adventure races to bog snorkelling triathlon and morph suit running. The team have pushed their bodies to the limit this year in a bid to raise £250,000 for HOPEHIV, a charity which supports children and young people orphaned or affected by the devastating consequences of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

£101,000 raised so far and in a final thrust to hit the target, the team aims to recruit as many fellow runners across the country as possible, all fundraising for HOPEHIV, tackling anything from one mile, a full marathon to multiple marathons.

Commenting on The HOPE Tour, 12in12 founder Sarah O’Neill says:

The 12in12 has been an epic year and I really wanted us to go out with a bang. The idea of running 12 marathons in 12 days seemed like the perfect sign-off. It combines all that I wanted the 12in12 to be: forming a team with the same passion, flying the HOPEHIV flag across the UK, recruiting as many others en route as possible to push their own personal boundaries: whether that be 1 mile or 26.2, shaking a bucket or holding one of our HOPE concerts.

This is without a doubt the toughest challenge any of us have ever done, and we will pour every last ounce of energy into completing this challenge of a lifetime and raising as much as possible for HOPEHIV in our final 12in12.’


Mark Glen, CEO of HOPEHIV says:

In all my years with HOPEHIV, Sarah and her 12in12 colleagues are undoubtedly one of the most inspiring, passionate and determined group of people that I have met. Their astonishing commitment to HOPEHIV has been hugely encouraging and moving and this last event really sums them up – remarkable! I plan to be there at the finish line to cheer them in as they complete this amazing 12 month journey in support of the vulnerable young people we serve.


In the run up to Christmas, the team are also recruiting churches en route to host fundraising carol concerts along the HOPE Tour.

To follow the team’s progress, visit and follow #the12in12 on Twitter.

Fully self-funded, the team warmly welcomes support from companies across the UK, from sport and fitness kit suppliers, accommodation, support vans, and food and drink donations.

Please contact the team on if you are able to support the team in any way.


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