Cricket fan dons kit for record-breaking Gloucester race in £10k charity challenge
15 January 2019
A cricket fan is attempting to break the world record for the fastest half marathon in cricket kit as he takes part in this weekend’s Gloucester half marathon.
Rob Cross, a 23-year-old Marketing Associate from London, is running 18 half-marathons – one in each of the 18 first-class cricket counties – in an attempt to raise £10,000 for Mind and cricket charity Chance to Shine.
He has so far travelled over 2,800 miles around the country as part of the challenge, and raised over £4,500 for the two charities in the process. This weekend's race will be Rob's fourteenth, as he heads into the final straight of this marathon challenge.
The first event took place in Kent in February and the challenge will finish with the full London Marathon in April next year, where Rob will also run in pads and a helmet.
“I decided to do the challenge because I want to try and raise more awareness of mental health,” said Rob.
“It’s a topic close to my heart as I have close friends who have struggled with it. This challenge also combines my love of cricket and Chance to Shine does amazing work in schools and communities throughout the country.
“It’s definitely the most physically challenging task I’ve ever undertaken but I'm really proud to be able to support two fantastic charities and I'm really focussed on raising as much money and awareness as possible.”
Rob's current personal best without cricket kit is one hour, 36 minutes and he now has his sights set on breaking the Guinness World Record for the quickest half-marathon in cricket gear, which currently stands at one hour 40 minutes.
“Breaking the world record would be amazing,” he added. “I'd love to do that in Gloucester if I can and my times are getting quicker so I think I have a chance, but the main thing for me is raising more money.”
Rob spoke to former England captain Alastair Cook about why people should support his challenge and Chance to Shine in general.
“I think it [Chance to Shine] is a brilliant charity simply because cricket shouldn't be an elitist sport,” said England's all-time leading test run-scorer.
“Yes you do need a few facilities to play, however it shouldn't be elitist and should be for everyone. It's such a great sport to combine society – youth, adults, it doesn't matter, you can play in any team.”
Laura Cordingley, Chief Executive at Chance to Shine, said: “We are honoured that Rob has chosen to support Chance to Shine via his mammoth effort of running 18 half marathons.
“Not only is this is a huge physical feat it also links closely to our values of being ambitious and inspiring others.
“We can’t thank Rob enough for his efforts, which will help us continue to use cricket to help children and young people by educating, teaching vital skills, igniting new passions and uniting diverse communities.”