The Japan 2000 mile Challenge for Sarcoma UK
Richard Dunwoody to walk a marathon a day across the length of Japan to raise awareness for Sarcoma UK
Former Champion Jockey, adventurer and professional photographer, Richard Dunwoody MBE, is to undertake his first challenge for seven years to raise awareness for Sarcoma UK: the bone and soft tissue cancer charity. The charity is of personal relevance as his nephew George, 21, who represented Great Britain at the Junior World Rowing Championships in 2014, is still fighting the disease, having undergone both chemotherapy and proton therapy in the past 18 months.
On 27 February 2017 Richard will embark on the longest challenge he has ever undertaken, to walk 2000 miles, from south to north, the length of Japan’s three largest islands; Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido. He aims to walk between 20-30 miles a day, the equivalent of a marathon, totally unsupported and camping out – or staying in minshuku, the Japanese equivalent of B & B’s or ryokan, local hotels.
Setting out from Cape Sata in the southern tip of Kyushu, he plans to reach Cape Soya, the northernmost point of Hokkaido by early June. He hopes some friends will join him along the way, including his former rival and 20-time Champion Jockey Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy.
“George, my nephew, was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare sarcoma in 2015 for which he is still receiving treatment. I was made aware of Sarcoma UK as a result and wanted to do something positive to help promote the fantastic work and ground-breaking research that they do. Japan is a country I have long wanted to explore and 2000 miles sounded like a reasonable distance!”
Lindsey Bennister, Chief Executive of Sarcoma UK says:
“We are honoured to have Richard Dunwoody, three-time champion jockey, trek the length of Japan in support of his nephew, George. Richard is helping Sarcoma UK to raise much needed funds and awareness of sarcoma. We wish Richard the best of luck and will be following his adventure closely.”
No stranger to extreme challenges, Richard has previously undertaken expeditions to both the North and South Pole as well as walking 1000 miles in 1000 hours in 2009 to replicate Captain Barclay’s achievement 200 years earlier. He has raised in excess of £250,000 for a variety of causes he supports.
Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy says:
“My money would always be on Richard to complete anything he undertakes! I hope to join him at some stage and I expect we’ll be as competitive as we have always been!”
On what promises to be an incredible journey through this spectacular country Richard will regularly update a photographic diary of his challenge blogging about his social, cultural and physical experiences.
‘How to sponsor’ details will also be added to this by the time Richard starts his challenge.
Richard was champion National Hunt jockey three times in the 90’s and won the Aintree Grand National twice in his career. He was awarded the MBE for services to the sport in 1993. Since retirement, he has completed various challenges for charity, and now works as a professional travel and adventure photographer. He held his first critically acclaimed exhibition in St Martins in the Field for The Brooke Hospital equine charity in 2014.
About Sarcoma UK
- Sarcoma UK works with patients, carers, supporters, health professionals and researchers to drive awareness of sarcoma, promote early diagnosis and improve patient experience.
- Sarcoma UK has pledged to invest over £3million into sarcoma research by 2020 with the aim of finding effective treatment for the disease within the next 10 years.
- Sarcoma UK is the only UK charity providing personal support and expert information on sarcoma. In February 2016, the charity launched their national Support Line. Due to high demand they plan to double the number of specialist nurses who answer the line by July 2016.
- Sarcoma UK aims to increase survival rates by at least 10% by 2020. Early diagnosis saves lives.
- Sarcoma UK provides education and training for GPs to help them recognise the symptoms of sarcoma.
- Sarcoma is cancer. It can develop anywhere in the body. 10 people are diagnosed with sarcoma every day in the UK.
- Sarcoma is cancer of the bone or soft tissue.
- A key symptom of sarcoma is a lump that is increasing in size, often quickly.
- Sarcoma is one of the hardest cancers to diagnose. People visit their GP more times than those with any other form of cancer before being diagnosed with sarcoma.
- Early diagnosis could increase survival by 20%.
- Sarcoma is usually the size of a baked bean tin when diagnosed. If sarcoma is diagnosed when it is smaller than a golf ball, it would increase the chance of survival by at least 20%.
- People with sarcoma tend to be younger than most people with cancer. 16% of sarcomas are diagnosed in people under 30, compared to only 2% of all other cancers.
Below are the projected dates of The Japan 2000 mile Challenge for Sarcoma UK
- 27th February start day from Cape Sata
- 18th March reach Kitakyushu
- 2nd April reach Osaka
- 22nd April via Nakasendo Trail reach Tokyo
- 18th May reach Aomori
- 28th May reach Sapporo
- 10th June reach Cape Soya
All dates are liable to change and this should be used as a rough guideline only
Map on page below
For further information please contact:
Liz Ampairee +44 7733 331945
Vicki Smith, Communications Director, Sarcoma UK
+44 79312 54697