Ian Adair – Chasing the 6’s

Hospice supporter, Ian Adair, raises over £6,000 through his 'Chasing the 6's' year of fundraising.

Fundraising superstar Ian Adair has one of the most positive outlooks on life we’ve ever come across. With a firm belief that unicorns DO exist, Ian has a mantra that if you can dream it, you can do it. Alongside his trusty mascot, Stitch, of Lilo and Stitch, Ian dreamt big and achieved what many people told him was impossible. We caught up with him following the end of his incredible year of fundraising, named ‘Chasing the 6’s’, which raised an amazing £6,596 for Saint Michael’s Hospice.

Put simply, Chasing the 6’s was triathlon-themed and included 6 big endurance challenges, 6 smaller challenges, all which accumulated a staggering 6,000 miles. When we say ‘small’ challenges, Ian’s idea of small includes a Santa-themed half-marathon and six laps of Knaresborough’s infamous Bed Race wearing a 6kg weighted vest!

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His idea of a big event? Ironman Bolton, which saw him cover 140 miles in just 16 hours, combining a 2.4-mile swim, a 122-mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. Just thinking about that makes us exhausted! Ian also took on a second Iron Man in Marbella, an ultra-marathon around Lake Windermere, an off-road triathlon including a run up Ben Nevis, plus two coast-to-coast road bike challenges. In total, Ian clocked up 57 miles swimming, 5,321 miles on a bike, and 681 miles running.

Ian said: “I wanted people to say to me, ‘Here’s a tenner, what you’re doing is nuts!’. I think maybe I over did it!”

Ian’s motivation was simple. After a background playing amateur rugby and powerlifting at the gym, he wanted to do something that would really push himself out of his comfort zone. He chose Saint Michael’s Hospice as he believes it’s an important fixture within the Harrogate community.

“I live in Harrogate and I know people who have benefitted from the care at Saint Michael’s. The work they do is incredible, even if you don’t have first-hand experience, you know how important they are to the community.”

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If anything was to happen to me or my wife, it would be Saint Michael’s that are here and it’s the same for my friends. We are quite a little town and to have something like Saint Michael’s here is something we should be proud of and to try our best to help.”

Sadly, the very same month Ian started his fundraising year for Saint Michael’s, his dad, Murray was admitted to a neighbouring hospice where he died just a few days later.

“I started my year of fundraising on 1st December 2022 and Dad went into a hospice later that month, which was totally coincidental. I nearly pulled it because of what I was going through family-wise, but actually, I thought, ‘Well, this is why I’m doing it.’

“The nice thing about a hospice is everyone is treated the same. They just looked after him, he got to be a real person instead of a number on a ward.

“A lot of people think it’s just cancer patients that get to go to hospices, but it’s not. That’s why I chose to fundraise for a hospice. It’s not just one thing, you look after absolutely everybody who needs it and their families too.”

To train for his incredible catalogue of challenges, Ian joined Harrogate Tri Club, where his fellow members have become true friends, and he was named ‘Member of the Year’ in 2023. Ian also hired a full-time coach to ensure he trained and rested in a way that would avoid injury, plus build the resilience, stamina and the fitness levels needed to take on the challenges. From May to September 2023, Ian took on at least one challenge every month, if not two, and every spare minute was spent training, logging miles and planning routes.

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Reflecting on the experience, Ian said: “The proudest thing for me is finishing the whole thing, and knowing I’ve seen through what I set out to achieve. I’ve now got my closest friends as part of the Tri Club, and they’ve said to me, ‘When you first told us what you were going to do, we thought, ‘No chance!’’ No-one does every distance and every discipline all in their first year. What I have raised I’m absolutely over the moon with. I’ve raised just over £6,000, so I am really happy!”

On behalf of everyone at Saint Michael’s Hospice, we would like to thank Ian for his incredible fundraising efforts. He’s a true inspiration, and we are so proud of what he has achieved.

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