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We are pleased to announce that we have had a great response from Southend area running clubs to this event and are looking forward to providing runners with the opportunity to both compete for their clubs and in turn support the charity.

Given the success we had in defibrillator installations in 2020, we thought it appropriate to award the winning club with a portable defibrillator, for use at their runs and events.

Runners will run in half hour slots from 8am to 6pm in a Covid friendly manner with the winning club being determined by a combination of the average distanced travelled and number of completed runs.

Benfleet RC, Flyers Southend, Hockley Trail Runners, Leigh on Sea Striders, Pitsea RC, REDs, Southend AC and South Woodham Runners have all confirmed they will be taking part.

If you need any further information, please contact you club representative.

Good luck to everyone taking part.

New Merchandise Store

The Finish Line Fund’s new merchandise store is now up and running with orders already being placed.

If you fancy a swanky new shirt, snood or a snazzy umbrella (other items are available) click on the merchandise tab and have a look.

Thanks to Carly at Dandelion Prints for producing our items.


It was a busy year for the charity in 2020.

Despite Covid 19 severely restricting live fundraising event opportunities, the Charity was successful in exceeding its fundraising budget of £13,000 set in April 2019 for the period to 31st October 2020. Many thanks to everyone who contributed and made that happen.

This success was due in the main to the extremely successful use of online campaigns via Just Giving.

One of these, a marathon campaign by one of the trustees has raised c£3,000, whilst a specifically targeted campaign to raise funds for a defibrillator for East Beach, Southend-on-Sea raised c£1,500

In early 2020, the Charity agreed to work with Southend Council to raise funds for the installation of two defibrillators on Southend-on-Sea seafront. These being two of the first three installed anywhere on the seafront.

Installation was completed at Jubilee Beach in July 2020 and East Beach in September 2020. These being full public access facilities, making the seafront a safer place for locals and visitors alike.

Additionally, the Charity has provided a defibrillator for a local race organiser to use at their events and has also agreed a strategy to focus on funding similar facilities for other clubs within the area where applicable.

A number of grants were made to race organisers and clubs for equipment and to cover the cost of medical facilities at events. Given the pandemic, some of these grants will roll over into 2020/21.

In addition to the provision of three defibrillators as detailed, another key achievement was to fund the set-up costs (£3,000) of a second parkrun in Southend-on-Sea at Chalkwell Beach. This successfully launched in March 2020, being attended by 953 runners during the first three weeks, before the lockdown struck.

2021 has already seen us agree four more grants to local sports clubs and we reiterate once more how grateful we are to all our supporters.

Runner’s charity challenges based on New Seven Wonders of the World

Keith Passingham, 69, will run around Southend’s 23-mile (37km) Millennium Walk in a challenge based on the trails to the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in southern Peru. – Courtesy PA News Agency

A retired science teacher plans to complete seven charity running challenges based on the New Seven Wonders of the World to mark his 70th birthday year.

The keen runner also aims to complete 2,340ft (713m) of ascent – the height above sea level of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue – within a single run around his hometown of Rayleigh, Essex.

He is devising a challenge for each of the New Seven Wonders of the World: the Great Wall of China; Chichen Itza in Mexico; Petra in Jordan; Machu Picchu; Christ the Redeemer; the Colosseum; and the Taj Mahal.

He said he had looked at the original Seven Wonders of the World when devising his challenge “without any joy”.

“It just didn’t fit, so I looked at the new wonders and I tried to base it on them,” he said.

“I’ve still got a couple that I’ve got to try to work out.

“The Great Wall of China, and a place called Petra (in Jordan).

“I’ve had to go on Wikipedia quite a bit.”

Mr Passingham, who will turn 70 in November, is raising funds for the Finish Line Fund which was established in 2014 after the death of a Flyers Southend running group member who collapsed after he finished the Southend Half Marathon.

He is chairman of trustees at the Finish Line Fund, which has helped to pay for defibrillators along Southend’s seafront, first aid and coaching, and contributed towards the costs of setting up a local parkrun.

It also provides grants including to runners or their families affected by serious injury, disability or death while participating in the sport.

“Last year one of the other trustees did 20 marathons in 2020 and raised sufficient funds to buy two defibrillators, and I thought I would carry on the fundraising,” said Mr Passingham, who started running in the 1980s.

He is aiming to run 1,111 miles (1,788km) in 2021 in a challenge “loosely based on” the ruined ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza in Mexico.

He said he found a virtual run around Lake Superior in North America which is “almost that sort of figure” and is 1,111 miles long.

He plans to run an ultra-marathon called Race To The King, from Andover in Hampshire to Winchester, for his Taj Mahal challenge.

For his Colosseum challenge he will participate in an event called Hercules Labour Two – the Night Run, where he will run as far as he can in six hours at night.

Mr Passingham, who was born in 1951, is aiming to raise more than £1,951 for charity from his challenges.

He started the Flyers Southend running group in 2001 while working to get his fitness back after recovering from bowel cancer.

– To donate, see