Rob Cross is hoping to hit the Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon for six when he takes on the 13.1 miles in full cricket gear.
The 23-year-old will don his whites and pick up his bat on Sunday 7 October as part of a gruelling challenge to complete 18 half marathons in all 18 cricket playing counties in England and Wales. Every step of his 236 mile journey is in support of mental health charity Mind and Chance to Shine, a charity who spread the power of cricket throughout schools and communities.
It will be 11 not-out for Rob once he crosses the finish line at the Cardiff Half and he is relishing the chance to chalk-off the Glamorgan leg of his cricketing tour of the country.
“I’ve got through the first 10 races so I’m getting into the back nine now,” he said. “I’m doing something that has never been done before and I’m doing it all to raise vital funds for Mind and Chance to Shine.
“I’ve seen close friends go through their own battles and it’s become very prevalent recently, especially in men. It’s a tough challenge but when I’m going through the pain I just have to remember it’s nothing compared to what people struggling with mental illness are going through.”
Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. The leading charity campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding and they won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.
Lucy Lloyd, Senior Community Fundraising Officer at Mind Cymru, said: “We’re so pleased that Rob has chosen to fundraise for us. All the money Rob raises for us will go towards helping people in Wales who have a mental health problem, and we’re really grateful that Rob will be raising awareness as well as much needed funds as he travels around the UK. This is an amazing challenge and we wish Rob all the very best!”
Rob will complete his final innings wearing full batting gear, including pads and a helmet, at next year’s London Marathon. But first he will get to experience the warm Welsh welcome along the famous streets of the capital at the Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon.
“I can’t wait to experience the support in Cardiff, I’ve only ever passed through the city,” he added. “If it’s anything like the crazy support we saw when Wales got to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 then I’m sure they’ll help me get over the finish line.”