A MARATHON boss enlists support of Ulverston distillery for amazing nine-day cycle, swim and run mega-challenge

The man responsible for the return of Bolton Marathon is to tackle a superhuman challenge of his own.

Rich Smith, who lives in Warrington, plans to cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End, at the same time as swimming the length of the longest lakes in Scotland, England and Wales and running up those countries’ highest mountains.

It means that over just nine days, with stops only to sleep, Rich will cycle 913 miles, swim across 37 miles of open water - Loch Ness, Windermere and Lake Bala - and run 98 miles of mountain terrain, scaling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, all for Myton Hospice and CALM.

Rich, who is director of The Bolton Marathon Ltd, the event which is due to be held in Bolton next May after more than 30 years’ absence, is an ex-marine who enjoys pushing himself.

He has teamed up with husband and wife Andy and Zoe Arnold-Bennett who run the Shed 1 Distillery in Ulverston.

The gruelling challenge has been organised to raise awareness and money for two charities, Myton Hospices based in Coventry and Warwickshire and CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).

Rich, who divides his time between Warrington and Cumbria, lost his father, Ray, to cancer in June 2019.

Ray was cared for by Myton Hospice staff both at home, and in the last couple of weeks as a resident at the hospice.

Rich said: “This was my first experience of any hospice and I thought it would be a sombre place. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“It was positive, fun and loving. It meant that we all now have incredibly good memories of those last few weeks with dad.

“Dad liked a gin and tonic and in the last few days of his life, that’s all he drank.

We would bring him a tin of mixed gin and tonic every day and he would pretend he was hiding it from the nurses – obviously they knew!

“It put a smile on everyone’s faces and we remember Dad exactly as he was – a cheeky chap, who liked an innocent prank or two and lived his life to the full.”

The Mail: GIN: Owners Zoe and Andrew Arnold-Bennett of Shed 1GIN: Owners Zoe and Andrew Arnold-Bennett of Shed 1

Shed 1 Distillery produces small batch, classically distilled with a contemporary-style, craft gin and have agreed to re-market some of their award-winning Shed 1 Cuckold’s Revenge Gin as ‘Jogle Gin’ to help raise funds for the mega-challenge

Profits from the sale of each bottle will go towards funding the challenge and also directly to the charities: Myton Hospice and CALM.

To buy a limited edition bottle of Jogle Gin, visit: https://shed1distillery.com/product-category/gins/