All posts by Philip Lickley

Queensbury Running Club raises over £2,750 for charity as its members climb the world’s highest mountain over 23 times in May COVID-19 challenge

The members of Queensbury Running Club have run, climbed and powered upwards to complete their May challenge of climbing the equivalent of 10 Everests, smashing through the initial goal, and the extended milestone, to complete 23.9 mountainous climbs over 31 days.

The Running Club, which proudly boasts that it’s “the highest running club in England, probably” certainly had plenty of opportunity to tackle the height with many challenging hills within Queensbury and the local areas.

With ninety-five members contributing to the incredible achievement, 694,278 feet of elevation were completed in May and saw three members – Andy Smith, Julie Hepworth and Matt Fielding – climbing their own personal Everests, with Andy coming out on top with an impressive solo climb of 43,020feet, or almost 1.5 climbs of the world’s highest mountain.

There was even support from family members in raising money. Sam Hipwell, son of two QRC members, also completed his own marathon during the time, which though not included in the members-only elevation figure, helped bring in some extra charity funds.

There were further statistics pulled out of the data by club member and chief statistician Rob Glover, with four members climbing higher than Kilimanjaro during the month of May; three mastering the equivalent of Mont Blanc; and a further three ruling over Mount Rainier. Drawing on his personal love of all things space, currently a hot topic, Rob worked out that the expended energy of the Queensbury Running Club over the month was the equivalent of being able to accelerate a human up to Mach 6, or enough to send a 2kg sack of potatoes to the moon!

The challenge, which comes as the running club has had to postpone its regular Thursday night meetings, away parkruns and other group gatherings due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, was set-up by members Julie Hepworth and Joanne Fortune to inspire the members in this down time and to raise money. The members were polled on who to support and they chose to help raise money for local hospice Sue Ryder Manorlands. At the time of writing the running group’s members and supporters have raised £2,785 for the charity, beating their initial target of £1000 and their extended goal of £2,500.

Julie Hepworth:
“In late April Joanne Fortune and I decided that we wanted to do something to help those affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Those that know me, know that I am partial to the odd hill or two during my runs!

“My logic was that if 50% of members ran up 5,000ft during May (plus a little bit more!), we should be OK.  I never imagined that we’d be doubling our challenge only 12 days into our target.

“All of these efforts were for the wonderful local charity, Manorlands Hospice.  I’ve been in awe and inspired by the personal challenges that everyone has set themselves, pushing themselves out of their comfort zones, tacking hills that they’d otherwise avoid.  Watching how our membership has achieved something so magnificent has been nothing short of spectacular.”

Further support in the challenge came from Tom Collinge, who created a list of the steepest hills in Queensbury for members to tackle; and Jane Glover who managed the fundraising side.

You can find out more about Queensbury Running Club, and how to become a member, by visiting our website. You can still donate to the challenge at

Everests challege

QRC Fundraiser for Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice

The Challenge

Queensbury Running Club is (probably) the highest running club in England so it seems apt that we use our beloved hills that surround us to pull together as a club and raise some much-needed funds for the devasting impact of Coronavirus.

Mount Everest stands at 29029 feet / 8,848 metres so during the month of May, the challenge is for club members to collectively climb the equivalent of 10 Everests!  That’s 290,290 feet / 88,480 metres.

UPDATE: As of 13th May we’ve hit 10 Everests – so now we’re heading for 20!

The Charity

Sue Ryder, which runs Manorlands Hospice, relies on public donations to maintain its services.  The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that they have had to close their shops and cancel fundraising events meaning income sources have dried up.  Without immediate financial support, it will be forced to close.  Club members voted overwhelmingly for Manorlands as our chosen charity for its Coronavirus fundraiser.

Donation Platform

The Club has set up a fundraising site on Justgiving, for each member to share with their family, friends, colleagues and anyone else you can think of that may wish to support the cause.  The JustGiving page can be accessed online.  Please share far and wide. 

Tracking Method

Having explored the different methods available, the Club will be using the QRC Club on Strava to track our collective progress.  Therefore, if you’re not already a member of Strava, please could you join Strava and then join the QRC Club.  On the Strava app, go to ‘explore’, then ‘Clubs’ and type in ‘Queensbury RC’, click onto the club and then click ‘join’. Your request to join will then be reviewed and approved by an Administrator of the Strava Club and you will receive a notification when your request has been approved.

Important Note:

It is the Club’s intention to extract the Strava data to a separate record to enable tracking to take place in a usable format.  This will help us to provide regular updates such as the number of Everests climbed and the amount of elevation we have left to climb.  If you do not consent to your data being used in this way or stored for future reference related to this challenge, please let the club know by emailing Rob Glover so that we can remove your data from the challenge.


Each week as a minimum, we will provide a progress update detailing how far we’ve climbed and how far we’ve got left to go ensuring that we remain on target to achieve our goal of climbing Everest 10 times.


1. When does the challenge start and finish?
The challenge starts on 1st May and will finish at midnight on 31st May.

2. I was a fully paid up member during the 19/20 membership year but I haven’t paid my fees yet for the 20/21 membership year.  Can I participate?
Yes.  Everyone who was a member in the 19/20 membership year are invited to join in this challenge.

3. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to achieve much elevation as I don’t have much time for running during May, is it worth me participating?
Absolutely, every foot/metre climbed counts and helps towards the Club achieving its target of 10 Everests and raising funds for Manorlands.

4. Does my walking elevation count?
Yes, but please record your walks as runs on Strava, as this ensures we capture your activity properly.

5. Do I have to achieve a certain amount of elevation each week?
No, we are just asking members to build in as much elevation as they can sensibly and safely do, to their runs throughout May to help the Club achieve its target and raise funds for Manorlands.

6. I’m not a Strava user, do I have to join Strava to participate in the challenge?
Collating the data to monitor the Club’s progress is a big task. The QRC Club on Strava will assist hugely with reducing the amount of work required by automatically tracking and aggregating each member’s cumulative elevation throughout May.  We would therefore ask that you join Strava and then join the QRC Club on Strava to make the administration of the challenge as efficient as possible.  If you strongly object to joining Strava, or you record your runs via a method that does not link to Strava, you will need to inform us of your weekly elevation by emailing Rob Glover by 10pm each Sunday throughout May but we would ask that this is on an exception basis only.

Facebook Landmark Challenge #4

It’s time for the Landmark Challenge over on our Facebook page. All you need to do is incorporate this into one of your runs this week, before the end of Sunday.

Don’t forget to take a selfie if it’s safe to do so!

Find out more by visiting our Facebook page and adding your photo to the post shown below. Click on the image to be taken straight to the post.

Winter Championship 2019/20 UPDATE

This years champs was originally planned as 13 races with your best 6 to count, after careful consideration the organiser has just left the latest Covid19 meeting and the following will now apply.

With the last 2 races cancelled results will now be taken over 11 races with your best 5 to count, age graded as usual with male and female trophies for the winners.

With a turnout topping last year’s championship over 80 members took part in at least 1 race.

Thankyou for your participation this year and hopefully come October we can have a full schedule for next season.

Should you have a race in mind that you’d like to be included please let me know over the next few months. Suggestions should be sent to Neil.

TTFN enjoy your Easter



We know you’ve all been waiting keenly to hear an update from us following last Thursday’s virtual AGM so let us not keep you in suspense any longer!

You’ll be glad to know that the minutes of last year’s AGM were approved.

We can also confirm that, after holding an online election, the following people will continue in their Committee Officer post for the next term of one year:

  • Chairperson – Stephen Brook
  • Secretary – Lynn Hill
  • Treasurer – Andrew Dovernor (also Club Kit Manager)
  • Welfare Officer – Nicola Smith
  • Coaching Coordinator – Phillip Whettlock
  • Race Director Glenn Thornton

They are joined by returning supporting officers Social Secretary Michelle Shepherd, Race Results Officer Neil Windle, and Awards Coordinator Andrew Stott, plus we’d like to welcome Philip Lickley on to the team as the Webmaster. You can find out more details about all these people and what they do at the club by visiting

In other news, treasurer Andrew Dovernor has e-mailed everyone following the recent update about membership fees for 2020-21 confirming that, whilst QRC would like everyone to renew as soon as possible, if you feel that you are unable to do so in the current climate then England Athletics are maintaining their site and registration until 31st August 2020.

You should have received an invoice in your inbox which you can click on to pay whenever you are able. If you haven’t received an invoice please contact secretary Lynn Hill or for any other issues please e-mail Andrew.

Finally, before we let you get back to quizzes / running / setting your alarm for Joe Wicks, we’ll be using this down-time at the club to give the website and social media some digital polish and also coming up with some great ideas for the next year of QRC. If you have any ideas / thoughts / feedback / brilliant suggestions that we could bring to the website / social media / running club then please send them over to!

Thank you to all those who have re-joined the club for the year and to our new members. Please stay safe and we hope to welcome you back to QRC on Thursdays soon!