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Dom’s Dopey Disney challenge for Martin House

Written by on May 19, 2020

A charity fundraiser who has raised more than £40,000 by taking part in almost 100 races around the world in fancy dress – despite the fact he hates running – is taking on his biggest challenge to date.

Dom Hodgson, 33, from Crossgates in Leeds, has dressed up in a fantastical range of costumes – from Elvis Presley to Elsa from Frozen – all while running for Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People in the last five years.

He now plans to complete the Disney Dopey Challenge, in Florida in January 2021, which will see him run a 5K, a 10K, a half-marathon and then a marathon across four days – a total of 48.6 miles – all in custom-made fancy dress.

Dom said: “I hate running, but I realised that when raising money for charity, the more uncomfortable I am, the more money I raise, so every year I’ve put on stupid costumes and raised money for Martin House.

“My mantra has always been with these things, if you can’t be fast, be funny, and the costumes usually get a good reaction both online and in person.”

Dom is planning to retire from running after the Dopey Challenge, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, both his plans for fundraising this year and his training have gone up in smoke.

So instead he is launching his own #twopointsixchallenge – 26 socially-distanced half-marathons on his home treadmill, in a different costume each time – which will be live streamed online.

Dom added: “ The Dopey is a fitting finale to five years of fundraising with running. As a Disney fan it’s the ultimate challenge, the hardest one that they do, and something I’ve said for years ‘I’ll never do that’ but turns out I can’t resist a challenge.”

Martin House cares for children and young people with life-limiting conditions, from across West, North and East Yorkshire, as well as supporting their families. It has been hit hard by the pandemic, which has seen it forced to cancel its fundraising events and close its charity shops, estimating it will lose £1.7 million in fundraising income in three months.

Dom is planning new ways of fundraising for Martin House after he hangs up his running shoes.

Nikki Denton, fundraising events manager for Martin House, said: “Dom really knows how to put the ‘fun’ in fundraising, and we always look forward to seeing what costume he comes up with next. We hope that when he finishes his last run for Martin House, that he finds a way of fundraising that he doesn’t hate as much as he hates running!”

Dom’s runs will be live streamed from Friday 22nd May at www.rundom.run and you can support him at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stupidruns. For more information about Martin House, visit www.martinhouse.org.uk.