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NRC’s Fraser Harding completes epic year of challenges




NRC member, Fraser Harding, decided to do something special to mark turning 60 in 2023. So he set himself some 60-themed challenges with the aim of raising money for the charity Young Minds. The core challenge was to cover 3,600 miles hiking, running or cycling in 2023 (3,600 was chosen as it's 60x60).

 

Fraser and his wife Anne lost their daughter to suicide in 2020 and by raising money for Young Minds he hopes to help other young people who struggle with their mental health, and to save other families and friends from the heartbreak of losing a much-loved young person.

 

He also challenged himself to scale 60 summits during the year. After climbing mountains in the Atlas and Rif mountain ranges in Morocco, the Sierra Nevada in Spain, and the Alps in Austria, he reached his 60th summit in the Brecon Beacons on a cold, windy November day a few weeks ago.


"It's been a wonderful, though sometimes relentless year. In completing the various challenges, I think I've done something meaningful in memory of my daughter while raising money to help others."

 

At the start of the year he set up a Just Giving page and linked it to his Strava account so that his activities would be tracked and publicly visible. By using the Summit-bag app linked to Strava, each summit climbed was also recorded. Summit-bag worked well in the Alps and the Lake District but further afield in Morocco and Spain, the coverage is a bit sparse.


Fraser (second from left) atop Walbury Hill with NRC

He covered many his 3,600 miles cycling with Newbury Road Club. He says that the social and supportive atmosphere of the club made it easy to cover the miles come rain or shine and club members have been very generous in their support. Fraser is a regular ride organiser and ride leader with the club. He completed his 3,600th mile running Newbury parkrun, accompanied by fellow NRC members.


Crossing mile 3600 at Newbury Park Run


Fraser (right) enjoying the NRC Summer Solstice Ride

Continuing the 60 theme, he set himself a target of 60 days' hiking during the year, again all recorded on Strava. His hikes have included multi-day treks in Morocco and in the Alps as well as day hikes in the Lake District and Cornwall. Locally, he has walked from his home in Newbury to each of the highest points in Berkshire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire. In the summer he completed his longest day-hike, a walk of 60 kilometres from west of Avebury back to Newbury.

 

In addition, he committed to doing 60 hours of volunteering during 2023 and has carried out a number of activities, most recently delivering Christmas food parcels on behalf of the NWN over-80s food parcel fund.


"the social and supportive atmosphere of NRC made it easy to cover the miles come rain or shine..."

 

He is delighted to report that at the end of the year, he’d hit all of his challenge targets and had exceeded his fund raising target (though additional donations will be very much appreciated). Reflecting on the year, he said "It's been a wonderful, though sometimes relentless year. In completing the various challenges, I think I've done something meaningful in memory of my daughter while raising money to help others."

 

If you would like to support Fraser, you can do so on his Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/frasers-60th




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