Funeral director celebrates epic year completing 1,500-mile journey for our Leckhampton Court Hospice

Cheltenham-based funeral director Julian Goodwin is starting the New Year celebrating his fitness and fundraising achievements of 2018, having covered an amazing 1,500 miles on foot, bike and in the water in support of his local Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.

Julian Goodwin alongside Sue Ryder nursing assistants Gerri Garrott and Kathy Dalby with his medal haul from 2018.
Julian Goodwin, alongside Sue Ryder Nursing Assistants Gerri Garrott and Kathy Dalby, with his medal haul from 2018.
Julian Goodwin having completed Ironman Bolton and RideLondon
Julian is proud as punch, having completed Ironman Bolton and RideLondon.
Julian Goodwin gives a double thumbs-up during the Cheltenham Half
Julian gives a double thumbs-up during the Cheltenham Half Marathon.
Julian with his Outlaw Half Ironman Triathlon medal.
Julian with his Outlaw Half Ironman Triathlon medal.
Julian Goodwin soaked to the skin but victorious following the Swim Serpentine
Soaked to the skin but victorious after the Swim Serpentine.
Julian Goodwin on the London Marathon finishing line.
On the London Marathon finishing line.

The fit 47 year old spent 2018 in training or competing in an incredible list of running, cycling and swimming challenges to raise funds for our hospice, after experiencing first hand the expert palliative and bereavement care it gives, as a result of closely supporting local families in his own day job.

Through his tough training regime and by completing various fitness events across the country, Julian estimates he has covered an awe-inspiring 1,500 miles running, cycling or swimming for his local hospice.

Biking, running and swimming for Sue Ryder

Julian kicked off his year-long fundraising and fitness challenge on the starting line of the London Marathon on Sunday 22nd April, running one of the world’s best marathons on one of the hottest London Marathon days on record, in 5 hours, 18 minutes and 19 seconds.

He followed this up on his bike with a 100-mile cycle ride in the iconic RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 29th July and then a two-mile swim in the open water of the Thames during the Swim Serpentine on Saturday 22nd September. This trio of challenges led Julian to complete one of the world’s greatest sporting challenges, the London Classic, which has seen Julian listed in the London Classics Hall of Fame.

Not content with completing the London Classic, Julian cycled 130km in Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court’s 30th anniversary Ride for Ryder sportive on Sunday 23rd June, conquered the Outlaw Half Ironman Triathlon in May and smashed the Bolton Full Ironman Triathlon in July. 

He also took on the Cheltenham Half Marathon on Sunday 30th September for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, sporting an 'Ironman' running suit in celebration of becoming an Ironman himself. 

"I know all the funds I've raised will help immensely by supporting local families"

His fabulous fitness feats have seen Julian raise an amazing £5,644.75 for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, which could pay for 297 hours of specialist and compassionate care.

“What an epic year this has been for me," Julian says. "I have enjoyed the challenges so much and the money raised is amazing. I hope it makes a difference to everyone at the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice." 

Julian is a Funeral Director at Mason and Stokes in Cheltenham where he has been for the last eight years. Before that he was with his own family funeral business, working with his father and grandmother, and this September he will have reached his 30th year in Cheltenham looking after bereaved families.

 “I have worked closely with Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice through my job for many years and I have always supported the hospice by attending Ride for Ryder and Starlight Hike," he adds. "I have also had friends who have lost loved ones who were cared for by the hospice.”

“The hospice is a lovely place and it’s set in the most amazing grounds of the hills in Leckhampton. The care at Sue Ryder is brilliant, and we always hear wonderful reports from families who have had and lost loved ones at Sue Ryder," he continues.

“I know all the funds I've raised will help the hospice immensely by providing support local families need at such a difficult time.”

What's next for 2019?

Julian started taking on triathlons in 2013 with the Cheltenham Triathlon Club and credits his training and competing for seeing him through his year of fundraising challenges in 2018.

"I have to find a way to top last year's challenges, so 2019 is going to be a year of fun and training while preparing for the 2020 season to start," he says. "I will be planning what’s next, but definitely want to take on another Ironman Triathlon, London Marathon, RideLondon and the Swim Serpentine. But there will be something more challenging along the way, something out of my comfort zone!" 

To donate towards Julian's fundraising total, visit:

Alternatively sponsorship forms are available in the Mason and Stokes office, Tudor Lodge, 54 Hewlett Road, Cheltenham, GL52 6AH.

Learn more about our Leckhampton Court Hospice and its services