Charles’ epic challenge: Running 100km for WAY

May 2024

WAY member Charles is taking part in an epic 100km challenge for WAY in May 2024 to help support other young widowed people across the UK…


“I am taking part in the London to Brighton challenge – a 100km walk, jog or run between Richmond and Brighton starting on 25 May. My original target was to complete the challenge in 15 hours but I picked up an injury during my training, so the target has been modified. I am now hoping to complete it in around 20 hours, which may still be a bit ambitious!

My wife died in April 2018 following an accident while we were walking in the Scottish Highlands near Killin. I joined WAY Widowed and Young around six months later.

Me and my wife were always active – cycling, hiking, running, sea kayaking and climbing (more her than me as I don’t like heights). Every year since she died, I have found that it has become more difficult to keep active since it was such a big part of our lives together. I find that challenges like this one help to give me at least a little of the motivation that I used to have, especially when I am raising money for WAY.

Even after six years, I still struggle with loneliness and the feeling that I have nothing to look forward to. Joining WAY has definitely helped with this. The peer support network is full of amazing people with their own unique stories. If there is something that you want to talk about or are going through, there is always someone else that understands. 

There are regular meetups throughout the UK, so there are always things to look forward to. I have also made several really good friends through the group. One actually lives really close to me and we catch up in person on a fairly frequent basis. It may be a walk, brunch or a few too many drinks but it has given us both an avenue to speak what is on our mind without judgement. I am pretty sure that I am not being judged about my obsession with Lego!

While there are several charities that I support, it is always WAY that I prioritise when fundraising. The peer support network they facilitate is such a vital part of so many people’s lives, but sadly the charity is nowhere near as well known as it needs to be. 

When I raise money for WAY, it doesn’t just help the charity to continue to exist for all of the people who need it now, but it also helps raise awareness for those who might need the support in future.”