Intrepid team takes fundraising to new heights at Race the Sun | Action Medical Research

Intrepid ladies take fundraising to new heights

28 August 2015

A team of four adventurous mums from Northumberland are tackling an epic endurance race in a bid to raise £10,000 for children’s charity Action Medical Research.

Sisters Jenny Vickers and Ruth Oldfield will be joined by Nicola Wood and Coco Oates for the gruelling Race the Sun challenge on Saturday, 29 August.

The tough event sees teams of four head to the Lake District to cycle 50 miles, climb 950m-high Helvellyn and canoe Lake Thirlmere, starting at sunrise and finishing by sunset... racing the sun.

Ruth says the quartet from the Alnwick area – who have seven children between them – were inspired to raise funds for the charity, which funds medical research into conditions affecting babies and children, after a friend’s baby was born prematurely; their mothers are also on Action Medical Research’s committees in Alnwick and Bedford, so support runs in the family.

“Our mothers are heavily involved with the charity and no doubt in the future we will be on the committee too,” she explains. “Also, a good friend of ours had a baby who was born at 28 weeks so we understand the importance of excellent medical care.

“We all have small children so a charity that helps children was an important factor for us too. I have twins and when my daughter Isabella was born she was in special care for a week. I was so lucky as that's such a short time, but it did make me realise that it must be incredibly tough for parents with very poorly children.”

Ruth, Jenny, Nicola and Coco knew they needed a tough challenge to raise a serious sum of money - so they say the Race the Sun Lake District event fitted the bill perfectly.

“Predominantly, we are mummies but we're all keen on keeping fit and challenging ourselves too!” adds Ruth.

So far the team, dubbed The Hillbilly Beauts, have raised nearly £8,500 with friends and family lending a hand: Ruth’s husband Mark took on an arduous Sufferfest challenge and cycled on a turbo trainer for nearly 12 hours straight, while another friend, Mary Dixon, gave up alcohol for Lent. They also held Tughallfest, a mini music festival at Tughall Grange, in May and organised a wine tasting evening and auction.

With the help of its supporters, Action Medical Research has played a significant role in many medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952, from the development of the first UK polio vaccines to the use of ultrasound in pregnancy. It is currently supporting research into meningitis, Down syndrome, epilepsy and premature birth, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.

To support the team’s fundraising efforts, please visit

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For a high-res image of the team, please click on the link below (pictured from left are Jenny Vickers, Nicola Wood, Ruth Oldfield and Coco Oates):

For more information on Action Medical Research, please contact Ellie Evans, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:

T: 01403 327480



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Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity working to save and change children’s lives through medical research. We believe that the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children can be beaten. We have been funding medical breakthroughs since we began in 1952 like the first polio vaccines in the UK, ultrasound in pregnancy and the rubella vaccine – helping to save thousands of children’s lives and change many more.

Just one breakthrough, however small, can mean the world. Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.

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