One marathon just isn't enough for fundraising solicitor

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One marathon just isn't enough for fundraising solicitor

17th October 2011

Not content with simply running one marathon, solicitor Tristan Alder and his wife Sarah are now in training to compete in a gruelling 39.3 mile marathon-and-a-half in January next year.

The couple, of Saltwood, are hoping to raise money for the Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance Service when they take on ‘Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge,’ part of Walt Disney World’s marathon weekend in Orlando, Florida. The event involves running a half-marathon on Saturday 7 January 2012, followed by a full marathon the very next day.

Mr Alder, 32, explained they were hoping to raise £2,500 for the Air Ambulance Service after the helicopter crew rescued his wife following an accident in 2005.

“Sarah had been out riding when she was thrown by her horse after it was spooked by a pheasant in a field near Lyminge,” said Mr Alder. “She had a suspected broken collar-bone as well as a fractured vertebrae in her neck, but the field where she lay injured was completely inaccessible by road. A helicopter was deemed the safest way of transporting her to hospital, and that’s when the air ambulance came to her rescue.

“Thankfully she was fine in the end,” he said, “but we were so impressed with the amazing job they did in looking after her and how efficient and professional the air ambulance service was, that we really wanted to give something back.

“These highly skilled teams of doctors, paramedics and call-centre staff, not forgetting the pilots, work under immense pressure all year round,” said Mr Alder. “They receive no funding whatsoever from the government or National Lottery and they rely almost entirely on charitable donations to keep the service running. Their yearly running costs amount to around £1.7million and they’ve already flown more than 500 missions this year.”

Mr Alder, a personal injury expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP, and Mrs Alder, 31, a biomedical scientist who works at Kent and Canterbury Hospital, are now in training for their marathon-and-a-half challenge. They are currently running two 8-mile runs during the week and run up to 20 miles twice each weekendin preparation for the race.

“We’re really looking forward to the challenge as it’s going to be a bit of a family affair,” said Mr Alder. “Sarah’s parents Lynda and Richard Lymn are both doing the half-marathon, which is particularly impressive as Richard’s 71 and Lynda’s in her 60s.

“Sarah’s sister Paula and her partner Jeff Wood-Brignall are doing the Goofy challenge with us,” he added, “while Jeff’s brother Rick is doing the half-marathon and his wife Sandra, her twin sister Lynn Cullwick and her fiancé Ian Sims are doing the Goofy challenge as well.

“We’ve all got a fair bit of running experience between us so hopefully we can raise a lot of money for this very worthy cause.”

As if running a marathon-and-a-half wasn’t enough of a challenge in itself, Mr Alderand his wife will also be running both races wearing a Goofy hat and Goofy ears. “I’m sure it will be an amazing experience,” he said, “but we’re all dreading the 3am start on each day as both races start at 5:30 in the morning, to beat the Florida heat.”

Based at Pattenden Lane, Marden in Kent, the life-saving air ambulance service can reach emergency situations within 15 minutes and transfer patients to hospital or specialist trauma centres relevant to their injuries, dramatically reducing delays for those in need of urgent medical care.

If you would like to sponsor Tristan and Sarah’s fundraising efforts in aid of the Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance Service, please visit

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