Fundraising parks chief could swap Boston for back garden

If he is unable to compete in Boston, Tony Clish’s £10,000 charity marathon may be much closer to home

PARK HOLIDAYS UK director Tony Clish has pledged that the cancellation of this year’s US Boston marathon will not stall his bid to raise £10,000 for charity.

The 58-year-old executive was due to take part in April’s event as the climax of his aim to compete for various good causes in the world’s six most famous marathons.

With London, Berlin, New York, Tokyo and Chicago already under his belt, Tony was hoping for a grand fundraising finale as he crossed the finishing line in Boston.

But, he says, the £10,000 riding on his last race will not be lost to the American Red Cross, thanks to the generosity and good will of his sponsors:

The Red Cross is giving help to vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis

“The Boston marathon has been postponed until this September and I still hope to be there then, but of course there is no guarantee that it will take place,” said Tony.

“I’ve already been contacted by a number of my sponsors from the holiday parks supply industry who have said they will happily donate even if the plug is pulled.

“But I’ve promised them that if I’m not in Boston on the day the race is due to begin, I’ll still be in my running shorts and will complete the marathon in my back garden if necessary.

“It means I’ll sadly miss out on the Boston marathon’s notorious Heartbreak Hill which I’ve always wanted to tackle, but at least I won’t letting my supporters or the charity down!” he added.

Tony says his decision to fundraise through taking part in endurance events came after he acted as a Games Maker volunteer at the 2012 London Olympics.

The experience made him determined to try and make a personal difference to the lives of others by supporting charities which reached out to people in need.

Tony decided that the big six international marathons would have a sufficiently high profile to attract the largest number of sponsors, and said he was amazed at the backing he received.

Good causes both large and small have benefited, and he says his choice to donate to the American Red Cross for his last race has proven especially appropriate.

The organisation is working closely with health authorities both in the US and globally during the coronavirus crisis to support doctors, nurses and patients.

Tony, who is the commercial director of Park Holidays UK, is also crossing his fingers that his planned participation in autumn’s London and Barcelona marathons will be able to go ahead.

Park Holidays UK, he says, has a long tradition of providing charity support, and many individual employees also take part in sponsored events for a range of good causes.

  • Tony said he valued the contributions of all his sponsors, but would like to give a special thanks to Compass Insurance, Leisuredays Insurance, and Towergate Insurance – plus holiday home manufacturers ABI Caravans and Delta Caravans, and software specialists Elite Dynamics. He said he was also grateful to sales website My Holiday Caravan, publicity specialists The Works and Design4Print, and online booking group GFM.