A Chesterfield boss really tested his endurance to raise money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

Glen Linsell, Operations Director at Proact IT UK on Dunston Technology Park  ran the entire 145-mile length of the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham to London virtually NON-STOP.

Glen, 46,  ran for 41 hours - almost two days - to finish the race 37th out of 180 runners and raise a whopping £2,600 in sponsorship for Bluebell Wood.

Glen, of Lambley, Nottinghamshire, began setting himself big physical goals when he turned 40.

He’s done Ironman Triathlons and Ultra Marathons and had built up enough stamina to run 52 miles when he signed up for the GUCR.

“It’s a ‘non-stop’ race; you are disqualified if you stop for more than 40 minutes, so you run through day and night and the odds of completing it, especially as a first-timer, aren’t high,” said Glen.

What kept him going were thoughts of the charity he was running for. 

“Bluebell Wood in North Anston has been our company charity since 2015,” said Glen. 

“I’ve been lucky enough to volunteer at the hospice on a few occasions and each time I’ve been blown away by the commitment of everyone involved there.

“What the staff and parents achieve at Bluebell makes any other accomplishment look pretty pale. They are the perfect inspiration for someone looking for a reason not to give up, as I was a few times during those 41 hours.

“At the end of the race I was mostly delirious, hallucinating and in pain, but the reception I got from my friends and family was incredible. I don’t plan on doing it again though!”

Proact IT is Europe’s leading data and information management specialist.

Its Chesterfield staff have donated over £14,000 to Bluebell Wood over the last seven years, including £6,262 already raised in 2022, the fourth time employees have chosen the children’s hospice as their Charity Of The Year. In addition to sponsorship cash from Glen’s big feat, £3,662 has been raised by 30 pairs of feet heading up Kinder Scout in the Peak District.

Said Samantha Ambler, HR Director: “Lots of our employees are active walkers so we decided to combine two things we love - a walking challenge to support Bluebell Wood, our Charity Of The Year.

“Our employees have a real sense of connection with the hospice. They have enjoyed volunteering days at the hospice and the range of fundraisers they have been involved in over the years is vast. 

“We are planning more fundraisers during the 2022 World Cup this winter and one of our vans will again be supporting the hospice’s Christmas tree collection service.”

Isobel Wells, Bluebell Wood’s Regional Fundraiser (Chesterfield and Derbyshire) commented: “We were amazed when we heard the immense feat Glen did in our name, but then, Proact IT’s entire team has been nothing short of wonderful in their support for us over the last seven years.

“We felt honoured when they chose us as their Charity Of The Year again in 2022.

“The  hospice needs to raise over £5m each year to be there for local children and families who often have nowhere else to turn, so the continuing loyal support of companies like Proact IT is incredibly important to us.”