AFC Portchester pair prepare for another charity running challenge

AFC Portchester Veterans duo Pete Sanderson and Keith Ashton are preparing to take on a second fundraising challenge in the matter of a few months.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 10:12 am
Pete Sanderson, pictured scoring for AFC Portchester Vets in a friendly at Westleigh Park, is preparing for his fourth charity challenge since the first lockdown was implemented. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The Portchester-based pair, who were part of the veterans team collective who ran more than 1,000 miles throughout March to raise money for the town’s Food Pantry project, are now getting ready to do their bit for the Friends Fighting Cancer charity.

Both Sanderson and Ashton, who signed up for the FFC annual football tournament for the first time this year, have set up personal JustGiving pages for donations to be made for their upcoming challenge.

They are planning to run or walk continuously for 12 hours around Portchester Recreation Ground and neighbouring golf course for the fundraiser.

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The challenge will start at 7am on Saturday, June 26, and end with the pair completing the final 15 minutes in AFC Portchester s Crest Finance Stadium.

Sanderson, 38, says they chose to do the event close to home in the hope a large crowd can help them pull through the gruelling task.

He said: 'We’ve been trying to do a bit of training, I haven’t done my long run yet, but Keith has done 26 miles in what was his first ever marathon.

‘He went out for five hours to see if he could do five hours non-stop. I’ve said to him we won’t be going flat out.

‘There’s part of us that thinks we definitely want to get past 30 miles each in that but then, obviously, the competitiveness of our previous challenge which we did - that was the whole AFC Portchester Vets team.

‘We’ve entered the Friends Fighting Cancer football tournament for the first time this year, obviously with me and my mate (Keith) we’ve been doing some fundraising over the past year, so we thought we might as well come in and set up something else to help this charity.

'Instead of saying we were going to run six hours in one direction and six hours back, it’s better to just do it local so we can see people and people can join in if they want and help support us as we’re going around.

‘It’s not going to be fast-paced continuous running. We’ll get to halfway and see how we are, if we need to drop off the pace and walk or crawl then we will.'

In all, it is Sanderson’s FOURTH charity fundraiser since the pandemic forced the first national lockdown in March 2020.

Previously, Sanderson ran a marathon up and down the street where he lives to raise cash for AFC Portchester’s youth football teams.

Then, last November, he was part of a group that ran 5km every day, raising more than £1,500 to support the Food Pantry based at the Portchester Methodist Church

Sanderson has set himself a target of raising £1,000 for Friends Fighting Cancer in his latest fundraising challenge.

To donate to through Sanderson's page, click this link,

While AFC Portchester veterans captain Ashton's is available here,