Sheffield cellists take on marathon feat

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THE Extreme Cellists are hitting the right note again.

An intrepid trio of Sheffield-based musicians are running the London Marathon – with cellos strapped to their backs!

Jeremy Dawson, aged 35, and Clare Wallace, 52, from Sheffield, and 31-year-old James Reece, from Chester, are taking on their biggest challenge to date.

They will run the 26.2 miles from Blackheath to The Mall to raise money for spinal cord injury charity Aspire, playing at the start and finish line.

This is the latest in a long line of challenges for the self-proclaimed Extreme Cellists who have been plucking their strings in unusual locations for a decade.

It all started in 2003 when, inspired by a documentary about extreme ironing, the three friends jokingly invented extreme cello.

“We thought ‘wouldn’t it be fun to do cello playing like this’,” said Jeremy, from Hillsborough.

Their maiden challenge saw them play in six locations around Sheffield, from Mam Tor to the Arts Tower, raising money for Westways School’s music department.

Since then the challenges have taken them far, wide – and high.

In 2006 they played on the roofs of all 42 cathedrals in England in just 12 days, which Jeremy described as ‘probably my favourite of the things we’ve done’.

Two years later they played at the top of the tallest mountains in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.

And in their most recent challenge they successfully hiked 193 miles across northern England – from coast to coast – playing their way through the pain.

Jeremy said of the marathon: “The more I think about it the more I realise we’re completely crazy.

“Only as you get really close to it does the reality of what you’re doing hit you.”

The group have had specially-designed cello cases made for the marathon but Clare is well aware of the task ahead.

“We’ve been training hard with our cellos for many months now, and it’s absolutely gruelling,” she said.

They are halfway to reaching their target of £10,000.

n Visit www.justgiving.com/extremecello2012 to sponsor them for the London Marathon which takes place on April 22.