‘It has been the hardest thing I have ever done’ – An Exmouth charity champion’s year of challenges to fundraise for Honiton-based charity has ended in success with a 73-mile overnight walk.
Mum-of-one Tanya Robinson, of Bradham Lane, Withycombe Raleigh, on Wednesday (December 16) ended a year of muddy run fun, climbs and cycling, with a final 24-hour hike from North Devon to Honiton, in aid of the Blood Bikes charity, Devon Freewheelers.
Tanya, who is married to Devon Freewheelers volunteer Jim, said her final challenge, walking from Baggy Point, Croyde, to the charity’s headquarters in Honiton, left her feeling ‘sad, sore and emotional’.
The sporty 40-year-old from Exmouth celebrated her big birthday with 12 months of extreme charity challenges.
She thanked all who had backed her year of challenges with a donation, and praised best friend Annaka Lloyd, from North Devon, who accompanied her, joining in with every task.
Tanya’s year of challenges – one each month since January 2020 – has raised more than £2,500 for the charity through a JustGiving page, which is still taking donations.
After walking through the night to arrive at the Devon Freewheelers HQ, Tanya, a beauty therapist, said: “It has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
“I am feeling very sore and extremely emotional after all we have achieved.
“I am sad that it’s over but want to thank everyone who has supported us in any way – from donations, to getting involved with support and challenges.
“And I have to say a massive thank you to my sidekick, Annaka, for her continued support – and my husband for his support and time.”
She added: “I wanted to raise some much-needed funds. It’s been a tough year for everybody. I wanted to do my bit and I wasn’t going to let Covid stop me.”
Daniel Roe-Lavery, Devon Freewheelers CEO and founder, said Tanya’s selfless fundraising efforts for the charity had left him ‘in awe’.
He said the charity was ‘hugely appreciative’ of Tanya’s ‘amazing’ support.
Daniel said: “It’s been an extremely difficult fundraising year for us because of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Over the past 12 months Tanya and Annaka have run, cycled and climbed, pushing themselves to the limit.
The pair’s challenges included running up Snowdon, muddy trail runs, a 30-mile duathlon, half-marathons, and a hike up Scafell Pike.
Tanya, who said the challenges gave her a focus amid the coronavirus lockdown, thought up her own tasks when planned events, such as the London Marathon and Commando Challenge, were cancelled amid the pandemic.
She hopes to continue fundraising for Devon Freewheelers in 2021, when current restrictions allow large-scale events to be held.
To see the JustGiving page, see here.