Four friends, two sets of brothers, set out to raise £4,000 for charity by completing gruelling marathon.

On the 30th October 2016 four friends who grew up together in Aberystwyth will run the Dublin Marathon to raise money for three charities close to their hearts. Brothers Mark and Andy Griffiths, who grew up in Aberystwyth but now live in Liverpool and brothers Chris and Tom Bates who grew up and still live in Aberystwyth have been training hard for the challenge and are looking for support to reach their fundraising target of £4,000.

The four have known each other for most of their lives. First meeting at nursery and being friends through Plascrug Primary School and Penglais Secondary School, the group remain firm friends to this day. The boys are raising money for the Stroke Association, Aberystwyth and District, Hospice at Home Volunteers and Dr Hadwen Trust’s Grand Challenge in collaboration with Brain Tumour Research.

Andy explained the reason that he and Mark wished to support the Stroke Association: ‘Dad had a stroke two weeks before my wedding, which as you can imagine turned it into a bittersweet time for me. He passed away on the 17th August 2015, five days before my wedding. My brother and I both said straight away that we would raise money for Stroke Association. Until you see what happens to someone who has suffered a stroke you can’t imagine it.’ In explaining their support for local charity HAHAV Tom said, ‘I’m delighted to be able to fundraise for and represent this newly founded charity which provides practical, social and emotional support to patients who are living with advanced, incurable and progressive illness, and to their carers, in the comfort of their own homes.’

Chris, explaining his support for the Dr Hadwen Trust, stated, ‘I have decided to raise money for the Dr Hadwen Trust’s Grand Challenge in collaboration with Brain Tumour Research. In August 2012 my partner lost her mother, Mary, to a brain tumour. The illness came as a complete shock to the family. Mary went away with her partner to their holiday home in France supposedly in good health and returned lacking capacity due to what we would later find out was an inoperable brain tumour. A short time later Mary died and the family has been dealing with that loss ever since. Being able to contribute something towards brain tumour research in memory of Mary is
very important to me.’

The four friends have been training hard for over six months in order to prepare for the big day. This is not always easy when you have young kids and a busy job, which all four do. Add to that the injuries and niggles which go hand-in-hand with the training required to complete a marathon and the lads could be forgiven for finding the training tough.

As Aberystwyth residents, Chris and Tom have had the luxury of being able to train in and around their home town. The boys explained: ‘Aberystwyth is ideal for marathon training; we’ve made great use of the Ystwyth Trail, which provides endless miles of superb track part of which runs alongside the Ystwyth River. We’ve also been able to incorporate training on the dunes at Ynyslas and the occasional climb up Pendinas into our routine.’

The Dublin Four are also hosting an online auction and raffle, which opened in September and closes on Sunday 23rd  October. All the proceeds from the sale of the numerous items and prizes to be won are going towards their £4,000 target. It’s easy to get involved, with all donators automatically entered into the raffle and auction bids submitted directly to the Dublin Four. Auction items include a holiday for four at any Vale Holiday Park; an adult and child ticket to watch Everton vs. Swansea on the 19th November and signed photographs of legendary footballer Ricky Villa, Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman, jockey Lester Piggott and rugby’s one and only Barry
John. Also on offer is a full-page advert in the Aberystwyth Ego and a wedding photography package courtesy Andy Griffiths Photography – featured in the Ego previously. Raffle prizes will include a Christmas Eve box from Rhydyfelin-based business ‘Little Toes by Emma Rose’, a jeroboam of champagne and a number of beauty treatment, craft, food, and sporting prizes.

You can follow the lads’ efforts and find out more about the upcoming auction and raffle by following them on twitter @Dublin4_2016 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thedublinfour2016

If you would like to sponsor the Dublin Four you can do so at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/thedublinfour2016 or send your donation for the attention of Chris Bates to Morris and Bates, PO Box 1, Ffordd Alexandra, Aberystwyth, SY23 1PT. 

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