Dan's coast-to-coast run for Sheffield's Bluebell Wood Hospice

Tipping the scales at 16 stones, Dan Olsen-Saaler always believed he wasn’t born to run.

By Nik Farah
Monday, 15 July, 2019, 12:07
Dan hits The Wall running for Bluebell Wood

But the dad-of-two has just completed the challenge of a lifetime, putting his 6”3 frame through a 75-mile ‘Ultra Marathon,’ in support of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

The 34-year-old ran from coast-to-coast, along Hadrian’s Wall from Carlisle Castle in Cumbria to Baltic Square in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, following the footsteps of Britain’s Roman past for the challenge.

Sales manager Dan said: “I have never run a marathon before, let alone an ultra. And although I enjoy keeping fit, I didn’t think I was the right build for long distance running.

“But I decided to do something that pushed me right out of my comfort zone after visiting Bluebell Wood. I was completely blown away and moved by the level of support and the passion of its team.

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“Everyone goes into work with a smile on their face and work tirelessly to ensure that happy memories are made for hospice children and their families.”

Dan is a sales manager at Insight UK, in Attercliffe, and has been raising money for Bluebell Wood since the company chose Bluebell as its chosen charity in 2016. He has since raised over £125,000 for the hospice.

He admitted the challenge was more gruelling than he had expected: “It ended up being the equivalent of 140,000 steps - and lots of them were uphill. I’ve worked out that I actually ascended over 4,000 feet - higher than Ben Nevis.

“My pace was definitely more a shuffle by the end, but giving up never crossed my mind.”