Cutler forges through ultra marathon to raise funds for Children’s Appeal

At 6ft 8in, there aren’t many obstacles that get in the way of Andrew Woodhead, of Fulwood, but he has just taken on one of the UK’s tallest order of challenges for a cause that shows him to be a truly gentle giant!

Andrew, (38), hauled himself around the 55km (just over 34 miles) Lakeland Trails Ultra Marathon to raise just short of £500 for Lancashire Teaching Hospital Charity’s £1 million Children’s Appeal.

Not only was it the furthest he had ever run before, the route took in three mountain passes with a combined ascent of 7,000ft.

Andrew, who was accompanied by his cousin, Preston-born dentist Rebecca Hanson, now a Jersey resident, said: “It took us between nine and 10 hours but it was more about enjoying the challenge and getting round before the organisers sent out a sweeper van on the 12 hour mark to collect anyone yet to cross the finish line!”

Andrew was inspired to support the appeal, which is fundraising for a whole shopping list of items to make the Royal Preston Hospital’s children’s wards, outpatients and other paediatric treatment areas more comfortable for the annual 10,000 young patients, their parents and carers who visit, after his three-year-old daughter Niamh was admitted with an infection.

He said: “I read about the appeal while on the children’s ward and saw that among the items on its wanted list were reclining chairs for parents or carers to use over-night so they could stay beside their child.

“I had previously raised money for reclining chairs for the maternity unit as I realised their benefit when Niamh was being born. My wife Jennifer, a physio in the hospital’s Neuro Rehab Unit, had a long labour and as the birth partner, you want to be on your best form to provide support and help where you can so being able to stay in the same room and be on hand makes so much difference. It takes away a bit of the worry.”

Andrew, who runs his own company, Crafted Knife Co., forging high end steel chefs’ and steak knives for Michelin starred restaurants around the world, is to continue fundraising for the appeal by taking part in this year’s Great North Run next month (September) and next year’s Berlin Marathon. To support him, visit Andrew Woodhead is fundraising for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity (

Fundraising manager Roya Armstrong said: “We are delighted that Andrew took it upon himself to support the appeal in this way. We love to see our wonderful supporters signing up for these incredible challenges and we are really looking forward to seeing how he gets on in his other two events for us. He’s already making a huge difference.” To watch a video explaining the Children’s Appeal, become involved or make a donation click here