Richard Dunwoody and his nephew, George
Monday, February 6, 2017

Richard Dunwoody to walk a marathon a day across the length of Japan to raise awareness for Sarcoma UK

Former Champion Jockey, adventurer and professional photographer, Richard Dunwoody MBE, is to undertake his first challenge for seven years to raise awareness for Sarcoma UK: the bone and soft tissue cancer charity.  The charity is of personal relevance as his nephew George, 21, who represented Great Britain at the Junior World Rowing Championships in 2014, is still fighting the disease, having undergone both chemotherapy and proton therapy in the past 18 months.

On 27 February, Richard will embark on the longest challenge he has ever undertaken, to walk 2000 miles, from south to north, the length of Japan’s three largest islands: Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido.  He aims to walk between 20-30 miles a day, the equivalent of a marathon or more. Richard will travel independently and will camp out or stay in minshuku, the Japanese equivalent of B&B’s, or ryokan, local hotels. 

Setting out from Cape Sata in the southern tip of Kyushu, he plans to reach Cape Soya, the northernmost point of Hokkaido by early June.  He hopes some friends will join him along the way, including his former rival and 20-time Champion Jockey, Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy. 

Richard says:

“George, my nephew, was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare sarcoma in 2015 for which he is still receiving treatment. I was made aware of Sarcoma UK as a result and wanted to do something positive to help promote the fantastic work and ground-breaking research that they do.  Japan is a country I have long wanted to explore and 2000 miles sounded like a reasonable distance!”

Lindsey Bennister, Chief Executive of Sarcoma UK says: 

“We are honoured to have Richard Dunwoody, three-time champion jockey, trek the length of Japan in support of his nephew, George. Richard is helping Sarcoma UK to raise much needed funds and awareness of sarcoma. We wish Richard the best of luck and will be following his adventure closely.”

No stranger to extreme challenges, Richard has previously undertaken expeditions to both the North and South Pole as well as walking 1000 miles in 1000 hours in 2009 to replicate Captain Barclay’s achievement 200 years earlier.  He has raised more than £250,000 for a variety of causes he supports.

Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy says:

“My money would always be on Richard to complete anything he undertakes! I hope to join him at some stage and I expect we’ll be as competitive as we have always been!”

On what promises to be an incredible journey through this spectacular country, Richard will regularly update a photographic diary of his challenge blogging about his social, cultural and physical experiences.

You can follow Richard’s progress on his:


Below are the projected dates of The Japan 2000-Mile Challenge for Sarcoma UK

  • 27  February start day from Cape Sata
  • 18 March reach Kitakyushu
  • 2 April reach Osaka
  • 22 April via Nakasendo Trail reach Tokyo
  • 18 May reach Aomori
  • 28 May reach Sapporo
  • 10 June reach Cape Soya

*All dates are liable to change and this should be used as a rough guideline only

About Richard

Richard was champion National Hunt jockey three times in the 90’s and won the Aintree Grand National twice in his career. He was awarded the MBE for services to the sport in 1993. Since retirement, he has completed various challenges for charity, and now works as a professional travel and adventure photographer. He held his first critically-acclaimed exhibition in St Martin's in the Field for Brooke, Action for Working Horses and Donkeys in 2014.

For further information please contact:

Liz Ampairee  +44 7733 331945

Vicki Smith, Communications Director, Sarcoma UK
+44 79312 54697