Saturday, 21 April 2012

Digging Deep For Spinal Research | Charlie, Coffee, Charity & Runner Cam

The Eventing Barista At Work
If you've ever attended any of the one day events in the southern UK, chances are you've come across Charlie Massey, AKA "Charlie The Coffee Man", also know as The Eventing Barista. His 'Speciality Coffees To Go' are the best on the circuit, and like every good bar tender or barista has the conversation to match.

Thankfully Charlie attends all of my favourite one day events, and for some time now I have abandoned taking a flask with me when I compete, and just pitch up with a fist full of coins. For as long as I can remember there has always been a charity pot sat on the counter of his wagon, helping many of the charities that us eventers have an affinity with. This year it's Spinal Research, and already Charlie has raised several thousands of pounds for a cause that anyone who dons cross country colours can see is vital for our sport.

The Eventing Barista is a keen marathon runner and will be running his little legs off this year in at least 2 marathons, not to mention a challenge to run a staggering 2012 miles this year, which I (in a moment of madness) agreed to sponsor him per mile. Charlie's first marathon is the Virgin London Marathon, this Sunday, where I'm told a number of the world's best Marathon runners are headed in order to secure a place for the Olympics this summer. Charlie I think is just hoping not to get over taken by the guy in the Rhino suit again!

#RunnerCam From Running Man
Thanks to the loan of a helmet cam from Paul Tapner, Charlie will be sporting a "RunnerCam" attached to his sunglasses during Sunday's race, and hopefully (if I can keep up with him and dodge the crazy London traffic on my bike), we'll be able to bring you some of that footage during the day.

If you follow Charlie on twitter you'll know he's great at coming up with new ways to raise money, and earlier this month his #JustEatCake day at Larkhill Horse Trials raised over £1000 alone.

You can't help but admire anyone who selflessly does something for others, and having chatted to him more and more over last few months you can see why he's a popular character on the circuit. He's also one of the best tweeters I follow (@charliecoffee), and something of a new media trend setter - the #eventinglive hastag was his idea!

Anyway enough from me, here's a few minutes with Charlie about how he got sucked into eventing, and his marathon challenges:

(I'll blame Charlie for the generator noise - sorry!)

If you find a little spare change in your pocket and need a good home for it, I can recommend the cause both Charlie & Claire Lomas are completing the marathon for - Spinal Research. To donate go to:

Charlie Massey's Spinal Research Donation Page

Claire Lomas's Spinal Research Donation Page

Dig deep please, it's for a worthwhile cause!

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