Mums raise thousands for Action Medical Research with epic Lake District challenge | Action Medical Research

Mums raise thousands with epic Lake District challenge

3 November 2015

Four tough mothers from Northumberland have raised £11,638 for children’s charity Action Medical Research after tackling an epic endurance race.

Sisters Jenny Vickers and Ruth Oldfield, along with Nicola Wood and Coco Oates, aka the Hillbilly Beauts team, took part in the gruelling Race the Sun challenge on Saturday, 29 August.

The arduous event saw 54 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.

After leaving just after 6am, the quartet completed the race in 10 hours and 22 minutes, making them the second fastest all-female team and placing them 20th overall.

“Helvellyn was quite hard on the descent as it was wet and slippery but on the whole, the race was really good fun,” says Ruth. “We were prepared for it to be tough so yes, it was what we were expecting but we really enjoyed ourselves!

“The general morale on the day and the support we received were really good – and special thanks must go to husbands Mark and Tom who were our support crew on the day.”

The four, who all live in the Alnwick area, have seven children between them and were inspired to support Action Medical Research, which funds medical research into conditions affecting babies and children, after a friend’s baby was born prematurely.

“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,” said Ruth before the event.

In the run-up to the Race the Sun: Lake District event, Ruth, Jenny, Nicola and Coco organised Tughallfest, a mini music festival at Tughall Grange, in May and put a wine tasting evening and auction. 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 to help them reach their impressive total.

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 funding research into meningitis, Down syndrome, epilepsy and premature birth, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.

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For images of the Hillbilly Beauts before and after the race, please click on the links below:

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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