Ipswich man, Ali, embarks on 925-mile feat from John O’Groats to Land’s End in memory of best friend Joe

21 March 2022

An Ipswich man is embarking on a 925-mile challenge to run and cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End this spring in memory of his best friend who died suddenly last year.

Ali Clements, 28, from Ipswich, Suffolk, will embark on the feat in May, and has set himself 13-days to complete the challenge that will see him cycle over 100 miles or run a marathon every day.

An avid fitness fan, Ali has set himself the challenge in memory of his best friend, Joe Langfield, who died suddenly from myocarditis last June, aged just 27.

Ali is using the feat to raise funds for Inspire, a charity that helps young people to build brighter futures, something that Joe always aspired to do. He has already increased his fundraising target from £2,000 to £4,000 following phenomenal support in the first few weeks.

Speaking ahead of the challenge, Ali said:

“The reason I’m doing this particular challenge is because I wanted something that would push my body to the absolute limit. It had to be something big.

“Joe always used to laugh at the amount of time I spent running, and I can just picture him laughing at me and cracking jokes in his usual Joey way.

“When I’m out running, it’s when I feel closest to him. I know he’ll be with me every step of the way, and it’s this that will keep me going.”

A group of Joe’s closest family, his partner and friends will be venturing to Land’s End to cheer Ali on as he completes his final stint on 14th May.

Joe’s mum, Jackie Langfield, will be among those waiting at the finish line. She said: “We are so incredibly proud of Ali for undertaking such an incredible challenge in Joe’s memory.

“We are in awe of his effort, dedication and commitment to raising funds and awareness of Inspire. Our Joey had an expression he would say to us all whenever we said goodbye, and it seems so fitting here. So, in Joe’s words, ‘roll safe, and mind the roads, Ali’.”

Sara Warburton, Events and Fundraising Manager at Inspire, said:

“We are so grateful for Ali’s support of our charity as he takes on this momentous challenge. Through the incredible efforts of his friends and family, Joe’s legacy will continue to help other young people to raise their voices, achieve their ambitions, and realise their potential.”

Suffolk-based George Baker Shipping, where Ali works as a Shipping Clerk, is providing hotel accommodation for Ali along the route so that he can rest comfortably between the daily challenges.

Speaking of Ali’s challenge, David Baker, Managing Director at George Baker Shipping, said:

“All of the team at George Baker are extremely proud of Ali and it is a privilege for us to support him in this truly incredible fundraising challenge.”

To donate to the cause and help Ali to reach his target, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/alistair-j-clements

To find out more about Inspire, visit inspiresuffolk.org.uk