A CREDITON man has raised as much as £3,500 for Hospiscare in an ultramarathon challenge. 

Groundworker Mike “Chunky” Lander, 57, decided to fundraise for the local end-of-life charity when he saw how its Hospiscare at Home service looked after his mother Valerie before she died of cancer two years ago. He also lost his brother to cancer in 2021. 

He had wanted to complete the final 100km stretch of the Devon Coast to Coast race from Chagford to Lynmouth, starting at 9pm on Saturday, May 18. 

But he was forced to pull out just 17km from the finish line after getting shin splints on his left leg. 

Mr Lander, who only started running in February last year on a treadmill, is still determined to finish the last section. 

“I couldn't walk any further basically,” he said. 

“I was walking the last six miles on the route I was on, and I just got to the aid station and I couldn't finish any more. 

“I'm now resting with a bag of ice on my left leg. It's very painful but it's all for a good cause.” 

Although Mr Lander did not finish, he told the Courier his wife’s son-in-law Luke Cooper and friend Chris Bragg, whom he started with, came joint first out of 27 competitors, setting a new record of 14 and a half hours. 

Chris Bragg and Luke Cooper, right, came joint first in record time (Mike Lander)
Chris Bragg and Luke Cooper came joint first in record time (Mike Lander)

Hospiscare has praised Mr Lander’s fundraising efforts. 

Its Corporate and Events Coordinator Alice Pragnell said: “Hospiscare is an independent charity serving people across Exeter, central and eastern Devon.  

“Our nurses, doctors and therapists give outstanding care for patients living with terminal illnesses, but it’s amazing people like Mike - and his sponsors - who help fund that care.  

“On behalf of everyone at Hospiscare, we’d like to say a huge thank-you to Mike for being a truly ‘ultra’ Hospiscare hero.” 

The charity looks after more than 700 patients at any one time, supporting patients in their own homes and in its hospice.  

Just 18 per cent of its funding comes from the NHS, and the rest from charitable donations.  

You can still donate to Mr Lander’s Hospiscare fundraiser online here: https://www.justgiving.com/page/michael-lander-1712691863118