Supporter's First-Class challenge targets a World Record Rob Cross, a 23-year-old Marketing Associate from London, is taking on a mighty, potentially record-breaking, challenge running 18 half-marathons – one in each of the 18 first-class cricket counties. This huge feat is to raise funds for Mind, the mental health charity, and Chance to Shine with a £10,000 target. On Sunday 20 January, Cross is attempting to break the world record for the fastest half marathon in cricket kit as he takes part in the Gloucester half-marathon; his fourteenth of the challenge. Cross will be running with pads, helmet, gloves and his bat as he completes the 13.1 mile course. Running without cricket kit, Rob’s best time is one hour and 36 minutes, and he has set his sights on breaking the one hour and 40-minute Guinness World Record for the quickest half-marathon in cricket gear. Over the course of his races, he has so far travelled over 2,800 miles around the country, whilst raising over £4,500 for Mind and Chance to Shine so far. We caught up with Rob ahead of his world record attempt this Sunday: What made you want to run 18 half-marathons in 18 first-class cricket counties? “I decided to do the challenge because I want to try and raise more awareness of mental health. It’s a topic close to my heart as I have close friends who have struggled with it. This challenge also combines my love of cricket and Chance to Shine does amazing work in schools and communities throughout the country. “It’s definitely the most physically challenging task I’ve ever undertaken but I'm really proud to be able to support two fantastic charities and I'm really focussed on raising as much money and awareness as possible.” How are you feeling about attempting to break the world record? “Breaking the world record would be amazing, I'd love to do that in Gloucester if I can and my times are getting quicker so I think I have a chance, but the main thing for me is raising more money.” You’re through 13 of the 18 half-marathons, with five left to go, how’s the mind and body feeling? ‘’The mind is feeling strong. I think what running offers me is a release. It’s a chance to get the endorphins flowing and leave the mind feeling clearer and accomplished. I’ve learned that the human body is extremely resilient and if you treat it right then it will look after you. I’m delighted to have remained injury free - touch wood!’’ Where can people keep updated about your races? ‘’You can tweet me at @18halfmarathons or email me at [email protected]. I’d be delighted to hear from you!’’ Chief Executive of Chance to Shine, Laura Cordingley, said: “We are honoured that Rob has chosen to support Chance to Shine via his mammoth effort of running 18 half marathons. “Not only is this a huge physical feat it also links closely to our values of being ambitious and inspiring others. “We can’t thank Rob enough for his efforts, which will help us continue to use cricket to help children and young people by educating, teaching vital skills, igniting new passions and uniting diverse communities.” You can support this marathon effort by donating here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RobCross. If you'd like to take on a challenge of your own please click here to find out more.