We are celebrating a special group of Hospiscare Heroes this week – our wonderful Marathon in a Month participants. This group of dedicated supporters took to the pavements, paths and lanes of Exeter, Mid and East Devon to walk, wheel, jog or run to support our local charity.
Throughout October, 105 amazing Hospiscare supporters (and 11 canine friends!) took to the great outdoors to walk, wheel, jog or run to raise funds for local end-of-life care. There was a challenge for everyone, with some participants choosing to run a marathon in one go, and others choosing to walk the marathon miles over the course of a week or month. Our supporters were able to complete their miles in locations of their choice, from Exeter quayside to the blustery cliff tops of Budleigh Salterton.
From avid runners to walking hobbyists, from keen joggers to those just getting started on their couch to 5k journey, supporters from the ages of four to 82 years-old took on the challenge for Hospiscare.
Collectively, our Marathon in a Month Heroes clocked up over 1,700 miles and raised over £21,000 for end-of-life care in the heart of Devon. This is a phenomenal achievement and we are so proud of everyone who took part. We would like to send our Marathon in a Month’ers, and all those who supported them every step of the way, a huge thank you for the difference they have made to local people living with a terminal illness and their families.
Marathon in a Month was kindly sponsored by Kitsons solicitors. Without their support, the event would not have been the phenomenal success that it was. To read more about Kitsons’s sponsorship of Marathon in a Month, click here.
We would like to say a special thank you to Gill Harris, Ellen Thompson and their nine-strong family team who took part in Marathon in a Month to honour a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend, Keith Harris.
Keith was cared for by Hospiscare after being diagnosed with lung cancer and Leptomeningeal disease. Marathon in a Month fell on the one year anniversary of Keith’s death, as well as his birthday, and the family travelled from across the country to walk together to honour Keith and give something back to the hospice that supported him.
Keith’s family completed their miles over the course of a week and raised over £2,700 for our charity.
To read their story, click here.
We are also sending a special thank you to Chris Long, a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy, who spent October fundraising for our charity by completing his marathon miles in his chair. Chris was inspired to take part in Marathon in a Month after seeing a poster on Exeter’s quayside during one of his regular outings.
Chris was supported through his marathon challenge by Bluebird Care and we are so grateful to Steph Darkes from Bluebird for sharing updates of Chris’s challenge with us. Chris said, “Five years ago, I lost my Mother to cancer. Although she did not use the Hospiscare service, I am grateful that the service was there had she needed it. So, for my Mum and all the people like her, I am undertaking this marathon in a month to ensure that Hospiscare remains available in the South West.”
Chris raised over £500 with his challenge. To read his story, click here.
Thank you also to Mavis Seeley and her wonderful dog, Jess, for taking on an incredible challenge as part of Marathon in a Month – three marathons, plus an extra mile, in order to walk a mile for every year of her age.
Before taking on her triple marathon, Mavis said “I had such an enjoyable time last year and finished my two marathons in 18 days, so I thought I would be able to do three alright. Taking part last year was so good for my wellbeing and physical health and I really felt like being part of a team, knowing that there’s lots of other people out there doing Marathon in a Month.”
To read Mavis’s story, click here.
We are sending a final special thank you to Maggie Rumsey and her family who took part in Marathon in a Month in memory of Maggie’s husband, Andrew. As Maggie’s family live in different parts of the country, their eight-strong team walked separately for most of the challenge.
Maggie says, “My husband Andrew was wonderfully cared for at home by Hospiscare in 2018.”
We would like to say a final thank you to each of our Marathon in a Month participants for committing to their miles and working so hard to achieve their marathon (or marathons!) in October, as well as going above and beyond to raise vital funds for our hospice charity.
We are so grateful to the friends and family that supported our Marathon in a Month’ers along the way with words of support and encouragement, as well as the odd bacon butty or ice cream! Thank you also to our fantastic volunteers for helping to spread the word about Marathon in a Month. We are so grateful to you all.