Tim Fundell's Rat Race For Five Talents

On 12-13 September I shall be undertaking one of the toughest physical challenges of my life: The Rat Race Coast to Coast Challenge in Scotland. This is a quite ridiculous challenge in which I will be one of over 1000 maniacs as I run, cycle and kayak over 105 miles through the very beautiful yet mountainous landscapes of Scotland - almost certainly in gale force winds and blizzards! I recently spoke to an extremely fit serviceman who regularly enters events for nutcases and he said that of all events this is one that he would never attempt again. I wish I had known that before I entered!

I have decided to dedicate this challenge to a very good friend of mine, Richard Garnett. Some of you will know Richard but for those who don’t he was professional actor for 15 years – TV, film, and theatre (including the West End, Broadway, and lead roles for the Royal Shakespeare Co.) and since 1995 has been a consultant in communication skills, working with some of the largest global organisations and some of the biggest cheeses in the corporate world - including me! He is a genius at what he does and an inspiration to all who work with him. He is also one of the kindest and most decent people I know. One of life’s genuine stand-out great guys.

In January of this year, Richard was tragically diagnosed with Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body. It is most commonly attributed to asbestos inhalation. The prognosis for malignant mesothelioma remains disappointing and cures are extremely rare. At present he is coping remarkably well following a major operation to remove the tumor in his lung and we all hope that this will sustain a certain quality of life for as long as possible. Like the rest of his many friends and family members, I am sure, it is difficult to know how to adequately show our love and support.

I would therefore like to dedicate this challenge to him and his charity of choice which at present is Five Talents. Five Talents gives small loans and training to the poorest of the world's poor so that they can successfully start and grow their own business. I encourage you to explore this site to see for yourself the excellent work that they do.

This is a wonderful cause in honour of an amazing man. Please give generously through this link.

- Tim Fundell