When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, super supporter Ryan Walmsley gives most people a run for their money
The Lancashire teenager has run every single day of 2018 so far – more than 1,000 miles in total – to raise money for the children and young people at Derian House Children’s Hospice.
Ryan’s epic challenge has even earned him a spot on national radio, when he was interviewed live on air by presenter Greg James on BBC Radio One’s breakfast show this morning.
The former Darwen Vale High School student, 19, who is now serving an apprenticeship at BAE Systems in Samlesbury, said: “It’s been tough at times – both physically challenging and emotionally draining – but doing it for Derian House has brought out in me an inner determination that I would have struggled to find otherwise.
“I’ve seen the good work Derian does and what keeps me going is knowing that somewhere down the line, what I’m doing will benefit someone.”
Ryan has run at least three miles every single day, and with three weeks still to go has already hit his 1,000-mile target.
He has also smashed his fundraising goal of £1,000 and hopes to make it to £2,000 by the end of the year.
Ryan’s gruelling regime has seen him wear out four pairs of trainers, and even run through bouts of flu, sickness bugs, many blisters and several hangovers.
He has run on holiday – pounding the streets of Berlin and Munich in Germany; Rome, London and the Lake District in 2018.
But heroic Ryan has taken it all in his stride, and admits he has enjoyed much of his challenge.
“Physically I’ve got a lot fitter and I tend to do a lot of my runs at dinner time, so if I’ve had a stressful morning at work it gives me time to clear my head,” he said.
The Blackburn Harriers Running Club member also praised his family for their support.
“The unsung hero of this year has been my mum Lynne,” said Ryan, who lives at the family home in Ewood, Blackburn. “She’s done my washing every single day!
“My girlfriend Olivia has also been brilliant. She’s been the one who has motivated me when I couldn’t be bothered going for a run. She’s said: ‘Come on, get up, get dressed, let’s go.’”
Ryan first came up with the idea to run every day for Derian after taking part in a sponsored all-day circuit training session at Darwen Vale High School.
And on 1 January, 2018, Ryan decided to go one step further and started out on his very own challenge that would last 365 days.
What's next for Ryan?
“I’m looking forward to that elusive rest day on New Year’s Day,” he said.
“After that I’d like to sit back and think ‘I did a good job there’.”
Kevin Bedford, Fundraising Manager at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “Ryan is an absolute super star and we’re so grateful to him for supporting us in this creative way.
"We see lots of wild and wonderful fundraising challenges here at Derian but this has to be one of the most gruelling yet. He’s raised a terrific amount for us and it really will make a difference.
“On behalf of all of the children and young people we look after at Derian, we’d like to say a sincere thank you to Ryan – and of course to his mum Lynne for all that washing!”
Derian House is a children’s hospice which provides respite and end-of-life care to more than 350 children and young people in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
The charity looks after the whole family, with dedicated teams for sibling support, hospice services at home and bereavement counselling for parents and grandparents.
Derian’s goal is to give families of children with life-shortening and life-threatening conditions a chance to make precious memories that will last a lifetime.