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A team of 25 marathon runners and 6 BM10k runners came together on Sunday 14 April to run for St Barnabas House. St Barnabas House has already received £12,000 from its runners, but the charity expects the figure to rise to around £17,500 once all donations have come in.
Emma Gray, 34, travelled from Hertfordshire with her bump to run the BM10K. Emma began running for St Barnabas House since she lost her mother eight years ago and over that time she has raised over £7,500 for the hospice. Her mother lived in Worthing and this year’s race was especially poignant for Emma as she’s 18 weeks pregnant.
Emma said: “The BM10K was brilliant, such a good race. There was great support from my family and the St Barnabas team, it gave me a real boost. For me, running is like therapy. I love it. I also had an extra passenger on board, so there were two of us that crossed the finish line!”
The first runner to complete the Brighton Marathon for the hospice was Jon Rollings, 48, from Worthing with an impressive time of 03:20:37. Jon said: “This is now my eighth marathon for St Barnabas House and a personal best. My grandma was cared for by the hospice a long time ago and it’s important to me to support a great local charity who continue to help so many people.”
Alex Gargaro, 28, from Sompting was happy to cross the finish line having only managed to train for the run twice in two months. Alex said: “I didn’t start running until earlier this year. I work as a fencer and run my own company and we’ve been so busy that I’ve only managed to find time to train twice since I took on my first half marathon for St Barnabas House in February, and for that I only trained a handful of times for at most! I was running in memory of my dad who I lost to cancer when I was really young. Sadly he passed away the day before he was due to go to St Barnabas, but the team there were really good with my family, supporting us through a hard time with counselling and offering us days out as a family.”
Durrington resident, Peter Cordiner, 62, celebrated after being awarded two medals! One for completing the marathon and a second for running in all ten Brighton Marathons between 2010-2019.
Peter said: “I didn’t start running until I was 50. It’s a healthy thing to do and I always feel good afterwards. I really love my food so it helps keep the weight off and means I can eat what I like! I support St Barnabas as I really appreciate the work that they do in the local community, helping local people and their families, including some of our friends. It’s such a worthwhile cause and running in the marathons is my way of helping to make a difference for the hospice whilst doing something I really enjoy.”
Cordelia O’Neill, 36, travelled to Brighton from Glasgow to support St Barnabas House who cared for her father, Tom O’Neill, who passed away in 2016.Tom, a Steyning resident received end of life care from the Hospice at Home team, which Cordelia said “made our lives so much better and easier”. She adds: “The care was incredible. When I spoke to Mum before the race she said that she couldn’t have got through such a hard time without St Barnabas. After Dad died I started running as I wanted to give something back. I never thought I’d run a marathon but I found that running really helped me process my grief. The St Barnabas event team gave me loads of support with running, it’s like being part of a lovely community and that means a lot. If I can do it, anyone can!”
Andrew Battley, Challenge Events Fundraiser at St Barnabas House, said: “What an amazing day! I cannot thank enough all the people who ran for St Barnabas House. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you, you are all heroes. It was so inspiring to greet everyone at the finish line and hear their stories. The one thing everyone said was how amazing and loud our cheer squads were along the route and how it kept them going, so a massive thank you to all our volunteers too for giving up their time and being the noisiest cheerers out there!”
If you would like to take part in next year’s Brighton Marathon or BM10k as part of the St Barnabas House team, or to find out more about the other runs you can take part in for the hospice, please visit www.stbh.org.uk/run