A SCOTTISH restaurant owner has raised over £8,000 for charity by taken part in a freezing marathon held on the North Pole.
Kate Walker from Glasgow faced one of the biggest endurance tests on Earth by taking part in the North Pole Marathon.
The McDonald’s franchise owner faced temperatures between -25 and -40 to raise money for the 26 room Ronald McDonald House being built on the top floor of the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.
The House will provide free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families with children being treated there.
Kate completed the marathon in just nine hours 11 minutes as the only Scottish runner and was one of only 17 women to take part in the challenge. The annual event was completed by 52 people from 26 countries and took place on April 18 – weather conditions are too extreme to hold at any other time of the year.
With an overall aim to raise £10,000, Kate has already raised over £8,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities in support of the new House currently being built in Edinburgh, with donations from the community, friends and family and a number of corporate sponsors including Coca Cola.
Kate had to overcome a series of challenges from the moment their journey to the North Pole began. Runners first travelled to Svalbard, the Northern most island in Norway, to travel on a Russian military plane to the North Pole.
However, the North Pole runway, which needs to be constantly rebuilt on stable ice flows for the plane to land on, cracked several times causing a series of delays to their journey. The group eventually made it to the North Pole three days later than expected, where they were delayed a further four days due to inclement weather. They were finally able to begin the race on Saturday April 16, crossing the finish line in the early hours of the Sunday morning.
Speaking about the challenge, Kate Walker, McDonald’s franchisee who owns six restaurants in and around Glasgow, said: “Whilst many may think that I signed up to do the marathon in a moment of madness, the real and serious reason is that I feel passionately about the new Ronald McDonald House being built in Edinburgh.
“The North Pole Marathon is definitely my biggest challenge yet, having previously climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro. It certainly was freezing, but I know that hospitals can be really cold places for children without their families close by so want to do everything I can to support this worthy cause. I have challenged my teams to collectively raise over £50,000 for the charity this year and will be organising a number of fund raising initiatives throughout the year which we hope the local community will help support.”
Jon Haward, Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities, said: “Kate’s commitment and support of our Charity is truly astounding. She will be helping us to support hundreds of families each year in our new Ronald McDonald House in Edinburgh which is set to open next year. Although we are an independent charity, we are very proud of the massive support we receive from McDonald’s, their Franchisees and Suppliers and we rely heavily on generous fund raising endeavours like this one.”
Ronald McDonald House Charities is an independent charity which provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation across the UK for families with children in hospital. There are currently 14 Ronald McDonald Houses across the UK and in 2015, they helped over 7,000 families stay close to their children in hospital.
To donate to Ronald McDonald House Charities and support Kate’s cause, please visit her Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/teamsummit-247