Emma’s Half Marathon Challenge

As anyone who has lost someone to cancer will know, or in fact any terminal illness, the role that a hospice can play in the last few weeks of a person’s life can be tremendous. Hospices provide personalised care and support to individuals; helping to maintain a sense of normalcy, provide relief to caregivers and preserve the dignity of the dying.

Earlier this year, on 5th May 2018, Clinical Director Emma lost her good friend and colleague Kirsty Rider to breast cancer. Kirsty spent the last three weeks of her life residing at Leckhampton Court Hospice, coincidentally where Emma’s partner’s father also spent six weeks before passing away from cancer. Emma witnessed firsthand the incredible care and support that the team provided and knowing that they rely heavily on charitable donations to continue this work, she signed up for her first half marathon with Sue Ryder’s Team Incredible!

Emma trained hard over three months with the running club based at Leckhampton Court Hospice, with Catherine, Connie and James: trainers who gave their free time in support of Team Incredible. The runners all donated £3 per week to the hospice to train with the club and were provided with plans, exercises and huge amounts of support.

Unfortunately, Emma did suffer a knee injury during training, but was very happily guided by osteopath Ben Wilkinson at The Vineyard Practice through her recovery. Thanks to Ben’s help and her own expertise in podiatry, Emma was still able to complete the half marathon, although it did slow her up a little more than she would have liked, giving way around mile nine.

Having given herself a goal of finishing within two and a quarter hours with the injury, we were all super proud, but not surprised, when Emma crossed the finishing line at 2:14:4.

With an initial target of raising £500, Emma went on to raise over double this amount and between them all, Team Incredible raised over £32,000, which will pay for an astounding 1,750 hours of hospice care.

Our last training session before the big day

The Cheltenham Half Marathon was an amazing experience. All of us, and especially Emma, were so touched by the support received and although she suffered an injury, in true Emma-style she has only taken the good from this and is strangely grateful that she has experienced an injury that so many of her patients come to her for. Training for something so important, doesn’t allow you the choice to just give up, but with the right care, exercises and caution taken, injury doesn’t have to be the end!

We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our wonderful patients who supported Emma and donated so generously. Seeing so many of you on the day itself, gave Emma the boost she needed to keep running. Thank you all so much!

Should you wish to show your support, head on over to the fundraising page, which can be found here.

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