Huge support from Hastings Half

 Hastings-Half-pic

Thanks to our fantastic supporters, the 2016 running season has seen over £50,000 raised by our team of Rockinghorse runners.

Best-known for our work at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and the Trevor Mann Baby Unit in Brighton, our aim is to improve the lives of sick babies, children and young people in Sussex. We raise money for items necessary to every child’s treatment; from furnishings and toys for the wards, through to cutting-edge diagnostic machines and life-saving medical equipment.

We had supporters taking part in the Brighton Half Marathon, Brighton Marathon and the London Marathon earlier this year, as well as six supporters who took part in the Hastings Half Marathon. Between them, our Hastings Half runners raised just over £2,500. We spoke to participants Jodie Eglington (pictured above with her partner Jordan) and Chris Mammone about why they took part and they have kindly shared their stories below.

Jodie’s story…

“Jordan (my partner) and I started going to the gym together in January this year as a joint journey to get fit. We had previously run the Link Road 10K in September and decided we wanted to challenge ourselves more. Whilst on the treadmill one day, he mentioned that he would like to complete the Hastings Half Marathon, but this time he wanted to raise money for charity. As I had completed the run in 2015 and understood how hard and dedicated you have to be, I agreed to run it with him.

“Not knowing where to start with finding a charity, I spoke to my mum, as she had a friend that had recently had a poorly grandchild who was admitted to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton. After looking at the Rockinghorse website and seeing what equipment was needed and would be funded by people’s donations, we decided that Rockinghorse was the charity we wanted to help, as the official charity of the hospital.

“We followed the nine week training plan that was on the website and starting our running on a treadmill in the gym due to bad weather. Then towards the last 3-4 weeks of the plan, we started training outside, running along the seafront. It wasn’t always easy to train together due to different work patterns, so towards the end we trained alone. The night before the run we ate spaghetti bolognese and got an early night to maximise our energy levels.

“The run itself was a mixture of emotions; fun, hard, painful and self-achieving. Jordan and I work as a good team, keeping each other going when the other one is struggling. We managed to run the whole way with the support of family and friends as well as other Rockinghorse supporters who cheered us on whilst our feet were rubbing in our shoes. Jordan and I were very proud to run for Rockinghorse and hope to raise more money for them in the future.”

Chris’s story…

“A year ago, I’d never have considered running a half marathon, I couldn’t even run a mile. I actually started running soon after my sister Jo and her partner lost their daughter; my niece Halia Cape. It gave me space to be alone and to think. I was having a few small health problems myself, and felt I needed to get fitter and healthier, so I made a decision to change a few of my lifestyle choices. As my running progressed, it became a bit of an obsession. I was tracking my distance and times, and always striving to better them.

“By Christmas, the thought of running the Hastings half marathon had crossed my mind, but I didn’t think I’d be capable of running 13 miles in only a few months’ time. However, my cousin offered me his space, as he had entered but realised he was away that weekend and couldn’t run it. I took his spot, knowing that I had a lot of hard work and training to do in only a fairly short period of time, but knowing it would encourage me to keep running into the New Year, and would give me something to work towards.

“Once I decided to take my cousins spot, I immediately thought about what had initially encouraged me to start running. Halia was taken to The Trevor Mann Baby Unit in Brighton after complications in childbirth, and my family and I are all so grateful for the wonderful support and care that was offered to them all during an incredibly difficult time. Choosing Rockinghorse as the charity I wanted to fundraise for was an easy choice, I wanted to do give something back to them as a gesture of gratitude for the care and support that had been given.

“When it came to the day of the race, I hadn’t run the full half marathon distance before, however I’d been told by others that had run that distance that on the day, the support and encouragement of those who come out to cheer you on and the adrenaline rush carry you a couple of extra miles. I set myself two goals; firstly I wanted to make sure that I ran the full distance, and secondly to try and get a time below two hours. The support from the people of Hastings was fantastic – it feels like the whole town is out in support. There is rarely a spot along the course where there isn’t a crowd cheering you on.

“I managed to achieve objective one and I ran the full distance. The support of all the people, as well as the adrenaline of doing my first proper run, carried me round. However, annoyingly I finished sixteen seconds over the two hour mark! It just means that I have to keep training to make sure I can come back and beat my time and the two hour mark easily next year. Running has become a bit of an addiction now, I’ve joined the local running club, and am setting my sights on a full marathon by this time next year.

“I didn’t set myself a target with my fundraising, as I didn’t want to put pressure on others, or to feel that I had failed if I didn’t reach a set target. However I never imagined I would raise as much as I did. The support of those that sponsored me was genuinely humbling, and the thought of the money I’d raised helped push me to continue running when it got tough.

“I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored me for their generosity – they can be assured that it will be supporting an extremely worthwhile cause. I would also like to say a huge thank you to both my cousin Christian, and friend and work colleague Sean, who both chose to run the half marathon and fundraise for Rockinghorse too, and helped to raise over £500 more.”

Have Jodie and Chris’s stories inspired you to run for Rockinghorse?

We have places available for the Brighton Half Marathon, Brighton Marathon and London Marathon next year and we’d love to have you on board! Or do you fancy taking part in a running event this year? We have places available in the Bright 10 ten mile run in Brighton which takes place in October – click here to find out more.

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