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Team UM completes Great Molasses Challenge in style with Hull 10K

Posted on 10 June, 2024

Fourteen runners along with colleagues, family and friends ensured the Great Molasses Challenge ended on a high at the weekend.

Our team of runners taking on the Hull 10K included six colleagues from Hull – Mike Mail, Kirsty Vine, Karl Pass, Ben Maynard, Jamie Marshall and Ben Coupland – four from Liverpool – Phil McEvoy, Jake Ellis, Dave Charlton and Duncan Wilkinson – and four from London – Simon Markham, Nigel Jones, Rauf Novruzov and Ben Macer.

The Hull 10K on Sunday (June 9) marked the final event in our Challenge which started in April and aimed to raise as much money as possible for our chosen charity, Farm Africa. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far and there are still a few days left to do so if you haven’t already!

During the last eight weeks, colleagues from across UM Group have run, walked and cycled to ensure that we smashed our target distance of 7712km (4820 miles) which represents the distance of the first ever UM molasses shipment in 1912 from the Dominican Republic to Hull.

Simon Markham said: “Sunday’s event was a great way to round off what has been a fantastic few weeks. It was nice to get so many colleagues, friends and family together to sign off in style.

“It was also good to run in a different city and see parts of the city we don’t normally see when we come here for work.

“There was a really good atmosphere around the course with spectators cheering everyone on.”

Rauf Novruzov said: “I’d never done 10K in my life and had shin splints leading up to the run. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to get round the course, but I kept telling myself I would be okay.

“It was a big challenge and I was delighted to complete the race. It was also great to spend time with colleagues from other parts of the Group.”

For UM Terminals colleagues, Duncan Wilkinson and Dave Charlton, preparing for the 10K had given them so many benefits.

Duncan said: “I was a keen runner 20 years ago, but in recent years with work, life and kids, I’d only managed the odd game of golf.

“Dave and I were pretty nervous beforehand, so it was massively rewarding to run the 10K without stopping.

“The physical and mental health benefits of training for something like this and then the day itself are huge. It’s given me the incentive to do some exercise every day whether that’s a run or a round of golf.”

Mike Mail said: “I ran the race with my daughter which was really nice. It was also great to get colleagues over to Hull for the weekend and show them a bit of our city. In addition to the 10K on the Sunday, we had a meal on the Saturday evening which gave us time to socialise and get to know some colleagues better.”

Geraldine Carroll, UM Group’s HR Training & Office Manager, commented: “It was a lovely weekend and great to get so many colleagues either running the Hull 10K or coming along to support followed by a fantastic team lunch.

“We want one of the legacies of the Challenge to be encouraging colleagues to think more about their health and wellbeing. We’ll be consulting them more about this over the coming weeks and already have lots of ideas as to how we can build on the achievements of recent weeks.”

All money raised from the Challenge will go to Farm Africa which works tirelessly to reduce poverty by helping farmers in eastern Africa to grow more, sell more and sell for more. Thanks to the work of the charity and its supporters, rural families are growing their incomes while also protecting their local environment for future generations.

To donate to the Great Molasses Challenge please visit


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