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Hadrian’s Wall: Challenge of empirical proportion

17 September 2020

Alumni tackle equivalent of three marathons in three days in memory of inspirational figure

Ancient history alumni are donning trainers to run a herculean distance to fundraise in memory of an inspirational woman.

They are set to run all 84 miles of the ancient Roman frontier – the equivalent of three marathons – over three consecutive days.

Matt Evans, Alex Spencer and Alex Burrill studied together at Cardiff – and played lots of sports throughout the degrees. The friends wanted to set themselves a challenge, but it was the inspiration of one woman and her attitude to living with cancer that spurred them to take action.

Matt Evans (BA Ancient History 2014, MA Ancient History 2016), Technology Consultant at Accenture, explains:

‘My godmother Ali Watkins was very supportive of me becoming the first member of my family to attend university. After being diagnosed with cancer in 2010, she met every challenge with a positive outlook. Remarkably she dedicated the last ten years of her life following diagnosis to helping others, raising thousands of pounds for charity. Our run aims to continues in this spirit.’

The three friends are joined by Marcus Ashcroft for the three-day challenge starting on 9th October.

Named after the Roman Emperor who ordered its construction, today Hadrian’s Wall is the best preserved frontier of the Roman Empire in the world, tracing a coast to coast path across some of Northern England’s most rugged terrain from Wallsend and the River Tyne to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea.

Completed in 128 AD, it took three legions, each comprising of 5,000 infantrymen, six years to build. Every Roman mile was marked by a milecastle or minor fort housing a garrison of soldiers. The wall – marking the end of civilization for the Romans – would become the inspiration for George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones novels

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