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Running mum embarks on mammoth fundraising adventure for the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Busy working mum and businesswoman Emma Kirwin has been so inspired by the RNLI she is taking part in a challenge to run between 28 lifeboat stations in the south-east, raising thousands of pounds for the charity that saves lives at sea.

Emma on day one at Teddington Lifeboat Station

RNLI/Thomas Henfrey

Emma on day one at Teddington Lifeboat Station

Emma, 46, from Worthing, began her ambitious challenge at Teddington RNLI on August 18 this year and plans to complete her final leg to the RNLI college in Poole, Dorset, next year – a running distance of more than 400 miles!

But Emma has no plans to stop after finishing running around the coast – once she has reached her final station her gargantuan efforts will culminate in her running the 2024 London Marathon for the RNLI next April.

Emma first got into the sport of running after her 40th birthday and hasn’t looked back since. ‘I love running,’ said Emma. ‘I’ve actually been for a run every day since 1 January 2021, after taking part in the RED* January challenge.’

Not only has Emma not stopped zooming around since then, but she has also trained to become a run leader for her running club, the Foxy Ladies, and completed a host of marathons.

'I have completed several marathons including Beachy Head, Brighton and Loch Ness,’ said Emma ‘I have also done a few ultra marathons, including the 106 km Isle of White Challenge.’

When Emma began running along the Thames, she first made her way to Chiswick and Tower lifeboat stations and continued on to finish the first leg of her journey at Gravesend RNLI in Kent. Then on 26 September she set off again – this time for Sheerness RNLI lifeboat station.

‘As a busy working mum and run leader,’ said Emma. ‘I will be completing the challenge on my weekends and days off.’ Since then, Emma has sped along the south-east coastline passing through Whitstable and most recently arriving in Margate on 8 October.

Emma will continue to follow the south-east coast all the way round to Poole over the next 6 months. In this time, Emma will be joined by a host of friends and fellow runners as she makes her way to all 28 RNLI lifeboat stations on her route.

Emma said: ‘Living by the sea for 16 years as a family we often visit our local RNLI station in Littlehampton and every time we go I'm inspired by the kindness, commitment and dedication they provide and feel great admiration for the volunteers. As a keen runner I've been setting myself crazy running goals and have decided to set myself a RNLI themed goal.

‘As I visit more and more RNLI stations, I am discovering how complex the stations and their service needs are.’ said Emma ‘It’s really interesting to see the incredible part they play within our communities, and I am inspired by how the crew members come together from all walks of life with such a strong bond and passion to keep our water ways safe and save lives. I feel proud to be raising funds for a charity full of kind and dedicated crew volunteers.’

You can follow Emma’s grand running adventure on her Instagram account:

You can also donate to her amazing challenge here on her link tree account:

Good luck Emma!

Notes to editors

*The RED January challenge is a nationwide movement for mental wellbeing encouraging people to exercise in January.

RNLI media contacts

Thomas Henfrey, RNLI South East Regional Media Placement, on 07790772665 or email [email protected] or Julie Rainey, RNLI South East Media Manager, on 07827358256 or email [email protected] or Paul Dunt, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 02076207416 or email [email protected] or alternatively, please call the RNLI Press Office on 01202336789 or email [email protected].

Emma outside Teddington RNLI

RNLI/Thomas Henfrey

Emma about to set off
Emma running along the south-east coastline

RNLI/Thomas Henfrey

Emma underway

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.