Yorkshire restaurater run off her feet for Great Wall challenge

The owner of an East Cowick restaurant and deli will be given a real run for her money this month when she embarks on two half marathons, a nine-mile run and two incredible treks along the Great Wall of China – in just five days!

Sam Mitchell, who runs The Peppered Pig restaurant and Pig’s Pantry deli, near Goole, with husband Glen, will be running 53km along part of the UNESCO World Heritage site between October 11 and 19 to raise money for the Stroke Association.

Sam will be taking part in the grueling wall-to-wall run along the famous landmark in honour of her dad John Wilson, who has suffered two strokes over the last five years.

Thanks to charity cream teas, raffles, bake offs and clothes sales at the restaurant, Sam has managed to raise £3,500 to go on the trip and hopes to raise another £1,500.

Four friends and running buddies, Alison Hobson, Sarah Smaith, Tracy Macinnes and 21-year-old Peppered Pig waitress Olivia Sykes, will join her on the tortuous trek.

“I simply couldn’t have done the trip without the generosity of our restaurant customers and nursery parents,” said Sam, who will also be celebrating her 45th birthday this month.

“All five of us taking part in the run live within a few miles of each other in a very small community, and yet the surrounding villagers have dug deep to find £3,500 in charitable donations for each of us to take part.

“They’ve given us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I cannot thank them enough.

“It’s such an important charity for me because it has touched my family first-hand and I think more needs to be done to raise awareness.

“When I told Dad I was doing it, with true Yorkshire dry humour he said: ‘are you taking me with you then?’!”

Sam, who competed in the Great North Run in 2009, has been training three-times-a-week for the demanding event, but this will be the first time she’s had to run with a backpack.

“I’ll be carrying a rucksack with my protein bars and water with me each day so I’ve literally got to have lunch on the run!”

“It’s going to be quite a challenge as these flat East Yorkshire roads are no match for the steep inclines and rugged terrain we’ll be experiencing in China.”

The Great Wall, one of the greatest wonders of the world, winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, from Hushan in the east to Jiayuguan Pass in the west, stretching approximately 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles).

But no stranger to long-haul flights, having worked as cabin crew for BA for 10 years before setting up the nursery and restaurant/deli business, Sam says she’s excited to be revisiting China.

She added: “It’s going to so amazing to explore this area again – even if we are running most of it!

“And that sense of satisfaction when we complete the challenge, will be utterly amazing.”

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Sam Mitchell of the Peppered Pig

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