TALK about cool runnings – 37-year-old Paul Tunstill was so eager to raise money for Pendleside Hospice that he ran the Burnley 10k with a fridge strapped to his back!
The home care assistant at Heritage Home Care in Nelson ran the race with his fiancee Carley Baron who opted for a fridge-less run.
Paul was inspired to raise money for the hospice after a close friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer and began receiving care from the home.
He said: “My friend was in remission and but she was then rediagnosed in January this year.Carley and I just wanted to raise money because they are great local charity that helped our friend, as well as helping lots of other people in the area.”
Paul and Carley, who are due to wed in two weeks time, ran the race together, with 35-year-old Carley carrying a bucket to collect extra donations. Paul, a former soldier who served in Afghanistan with the Royal Military Police, said there was no real significance to the fridge and that it was a ‘spur of the moment’ idea.
“I knew lots of people would be running and that to raise a good amount of money you have to do something to stand out.
“Then one day I spotted a fridge in someone’s front garden. I knocked and asked if they were throwing it out and if I could have it.”
Paul achieved a much better time than he’d expected, completing the race in 1 hour and 26 minutes.
Leah Mitchell, fundraiser for Pendleside Hospice, said: “We were quite shocked when Paul first rang up with the idea of running the Pennine 10K with a fridge strapped to his back.
“But the fact that he completed the race in a good time and raised such a brilliant amount of sponsorship is a fantastic achievement and we are very grateful for his efforts.”