Charity fundraiser’s incredible Merseyrail challenge

Merseyrail is encouraging people to cheer home a charity runner as he finishes a gruelling 56-mile challenge to run to every station on the network’s Northern line in less than 11 hours.

Centre 56’s Fundraising Officer, Alex Rigby (pictured), is hoping to raise £20,000 for the charity through his ultra-marathon challenge on Saturday, 10 February.

Centre 56 has been a place of safety and hope for families in Kirkdale for more than 50 years. The charity provides specialist nursery care for children aged 0-12 years who have experienced domestic abuse or crisis situations.

Now plans to support Alex during the event are well underway, with supporters and fundraisers placed at stations along the route.

A big welcome is also planned at the final station, Kirkdale, from 17:30 to help encourage Alex as he reaches the finish line. Already a keen runner, Alex has been training for the challenge since September 2023 and estimates it will take around 11 hours to complete.

Alex said, “I wanted to do a challenge that was unique. I was getting the train one day and started wondering how long it would take to run to all the stations. Now we’ll find out!

“I’m delighted that along the way we’ve been able to build this relationship with Merseyrail, who have been a fantastic support.”

Sally Ralston BEM, Merseyrail’s Community Involvement Manager, said, “We’re delighted to be supporting Alex in this monumental challenge. It’s going to be incredibly tough for him, so he’ll get plenty of support along the way from our stations team and members of the public.

“Centre 56 is a charity that is close to the hearts of many of the staff who work at Merseyrail. It does some amazing work in the community, and this is a great opportunity for everyone to support the work they do.”

Alex will start at Hunts Cross station at 6am on Saturday, 10 February. He is expected to finish at Kirkdale at approximately 6pm. He will be joined along the route by supporters and representatives from local businesses, who will complete the run in a relay, as well as friends and colleagues. Senior Train Driver, Mark Scott from Merseyrail will also be taking part.

Merseyrail has also chosen Centre 56 as one of its Charities of the Year. This means they will continue to work in partnership following the run, benefitting from staff fundraising and volunteering initiatives.

Alex continued, “We’re all really excited about the difference our new partnership with Merseyrail will make for the children and families who rely on Centre 56. They’re already helping us open doors that we just didn’t even have the capacity to knock on before.”

Members of the public can cheer Alex on by heading down to their nearest Northern Line station. To donate and support Alex’s run, please visit https://bit.ly/Centre-56-ultra-marathon

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