Staff, volunteers and supporters of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, together with a team from KissyPuppy, the Sophie Rolf Trust, will hit the pavements of Portsmouth this weekend for the Great South Run, in support of Island patients and families.
Around 30,000 participants are expected to take part in the 10-mile run, which takes place on Sunday 23rd October. The course takes in iconic landmarks around the south coast, including Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the Spinnaker Tower and Portsmouth Cathedral before finishing on Southsea seafront. The event also features the Great South 5k and the Junior and Mini Great South Run.
Those taking on the challenge in aid of the hospice will be wearing bright yellow running vests, and have benefited from the generous sponsorship of HoverTravel, which will enable them to travel to the event.
Among the team running for Earl Mountbatten Hospice is Volunteer Gardener Sue Clerkin of Wootton and 4 members of her family. Sue took up running earlier this year and now runs with Medina Parkrun. After marshaling at events including Wight Tri, Sue decided to surprise her son by showing that she could take up the sport, and started by taking a beginners course at Ryde Harriers. Since going on their introductory course, Sue has completed 2 10k races and, in preparation, for the Great South Run she completed the Queensgate Fun Run, which was her first 10-mile race.
Sue explained why she and her family are taking on the Great South Run:
“The reason we are taking part is because my father James Parish was cared for at Earl Mountbatten Hospice, with dignity and respect by the whole team. I am running with my son, Steve Parish and my sister Anne is running with one of her sons, Chris Ballingall and her husband Steve Dines, all in memory of dad.”
A team of 5 nurses, headed by Jackie Whiller, Sister on the InPatient Unit, and nurse Theresa McNamara, will also be taking part and have been training hard. They will be easy to spot in their eye-catching yellow outfits. You can sponsor the nurses by visiting www.justgiving.com/owner-email/update/Theresa-McNamara1.
Also running in aid of the hospice is Kate Young, who started running in February and is raising money for the hospice because it has cared for a number of her friends. Kate said:
“Keeping the hospice’s door open is a major day-to-day challenge, and requires a lot of fundraising so please sponsor me and help support this very worthwhile charity!” Kate’s five-year-old son Matthew will also be taking part in the 1.5km Great Run children’s race”.
Nigel Hartley, Chief Executive, said:
“Every year, we need to raise in the region of £5m to ensure our services can continue to grow and meet the needs of Island people and their families. We are so grateful for every donation we receive and I am always astounded by the lengths people go to in support of our Island charity. I wish everyone taking part the very best of luck; we will all be cheering you on!”