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Take the Doctor’s advice… give the Great West Run a go!


Becky, Petra and Prue crossing the finish line at the Great West Run


Are you looking for an autumn challenge?  Like the sound of a half marathon?

Well it’s not too late to sign up to Exeter’s Great West Run on Sunday 14th Oct.  Local charity Hospiscare have still got some runners spaces available.  However if you have never run that far before and need inspiration, then Hospiscare’s Doctor Becky Baines has some helpful advice for you.

“I did the Great West Run last year.  It was my first ever half marathon and I just wanted to complete the course in under 3 and a half hours.  That was my goal, to get in before the cut off time.  In the end we did it in 3:11 so ambition achieved!  But there are some lessons I learned along the way which I’d like to share with any first timers:

  1. Eating milk chocolate at mile 11 went down really well – take some with you!
  2. Having someone you know cheer you on at the top of Exeter’s heart attack hill just up from the university is a great motivator.
  3. Running with someone wonderful is a must!  I ran with Petra (Hospiscare nurse) and Prue (GP).  Prue is the more experienced runner, she was getting us drinks and snacks. I am sure she ended up doing double the distance looking after us!
  4. Have walking breaks.  We made a pact not to run up the hills.  We walked up them whistling the Colonel Bogey March tune!
  5. Definitely take advantage of the free massage offered at the end of the race.
  6. Your feet might be sore the day after, so be prepared to wear your trainers on Monday!

“For me personally, one of the biggest motivators was remembering why I was doing the run in the first place.  As well as raising money and awareness for Hospiscare I was doing it in memory of the patients I have supported in my role as a Hospiscare doctor.  Thinking about patients I treated who were in their early thirties and forties, what they had to go through, really drove me on and helped get me past the 8 mile mark in training and through the full 13 miles on the day.

“The support from the crowds during the race was so uplifting and inspiring.  I would urge anyone thinking about signing up to go for it and raise money for Hospiscare!  I felt so incredible at the end that I signed up the same night to do the race again in 2018.  Unfortunately I picked up an injury this year, so I’m not running.  But I will be part of the Hospiscare support team and am really looking forward to the camaraderie and atmosphere on the day.  I hope anyone reading this will feel like they could give it a go and join the other runners raising sponsorship for such a worthy cause.”

To enter the Great West Run in aid of Hospiscare call today 01392 688093 or email

Hospiscare is a local adult hospice charity, providing high quality care and support to people with any type of terminal illness, and those close to them, in Exeter, Mid and East Devon.  A gift to Hospiscare in your Will helps ensure the future of the charity in Devon for generations to come.