Mrs Hatton

St Catherine’s Hospice – Runner’s Blog


Jenny Hatton is just one of 21 runners taking part in Run Reigate in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice. Here she shares why she’s taking on the challenge this September:

“My mum, Mary, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2014. She’d beaten bowel cancer several years previously and sailed through her treatment, she even drove herself to and from her radiotherapy appointments in Guildford. When Mum was diagnosed and told that the cancer was incurable, she took the decision not to have treatment. She’d been offered palliative chemotherapy on a Wednesday but that was the day she met up with her friends for lunch every week and she viewed that as a much better form of ‘treatment’. Mum chose quality of life over quantity, a decision I fully respected and supported and although she fought bravely and stoically, she passed away in November 2015.

The team at St Catherine’s supported us during Mum’s final months. Mum didn’t want to go into the hospice for respite care “in case I don’t come out” but after several very tough days at home she went into the hospice for 10 days and then didn’t want to leave. She stayed there for three weeks. The staff were so caring and kind, nothing was too much trouble; they laughed with us and cried with us, supported us and just held our hands at a very difficult time. They were there at any time of day or night, which was so reassuring.

Mrs Hatton

When Mum went into St Catherine’s, she had completely lost her appetite and had eaten very little for days but I remember her being given a bowl of chocolate sponge and sauce on arrival and she ate the lot. She visibly relaxed and you could sense her relief at being there. St Catherine’s is an incredible place, the drinks trolley goes round at 5pm, a neighbouring cat comes in and takes up residence on patients’ beds and anything that can be done is done to make everyone feel at ease – Mum was a big horse racing fan and they arranged for a copy of the Racing Post to be delivered to her every day. 

We had arranged a party for Mum six weeks before she passed away. A gathering of more than 60 of her friends, neighbours and colleagues, many travelling from far and wide to be there. Mum had been in St Catherine’s for 10 days prior to the party and without their support the party would not have taken place. One of the nurses at St Catherine’s helped Mum get ready for the party and she was well enough to attend and enjoy the day. It was wonderful and I have many photos and happy memories as does everyone who was there.

I took part in the first Run Reigate Half Marathon in 2014 which went past Mum’s front door. She came out to watch and although the route has been changed, it feels right that I should take part in the race on 18 September in her memory. St Catherine’s works with people and they were there for me and Mum when it mattered. I do not know what we would have done without them.”

To find out more about how you can support St Catherine’s please visit www.stch.org.uk or to support Jenny with her fundraising please visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JennyHatton

 

Jennie Platt Blog

On the home straight (through Reigate)…


It’s late July and it seems summer has finally joined us (cue random torrential downpour while the sun is still shining). I’m actually a bit gutted…I much prefer running in the colder winter weather, so it’s going to be hard work for the next couple of months to keep active. I know from my day job (at Women in Sport) that this actually bucks the trend as research shows that there is a drop off of female runners in the autumn and winter months – I always try to be different.

So as I said we are now 7 months into the year, this year isn’t an ordinary one for me, this year I get married. It’s a very exciting and busy time…wedmin is my life. When I got engaged (September 2015) and once the date had been set (December 2016) I decided to add to the chaos and set myself a challenge. Upon awkwardly purchasing my first bridal magazine, I realised that in addition to endless advice on overpriced cakes, photo booths and colour schemes, most offered a plan of how to get fit and healthy for your wedding. Some of the plans looked complex and crazy and really did reflect an uphill run at Greenwich Park! So I thought that rather than panicking 3 months out that my dress might not fit, I would commit to some sort of activity across the year – a slow and steady way to tone up and most importantly feel good for the big day. So…I invented the Wedding 10k Series…it has a nice ring to it don’t you think? In essence I committed myself, oh yes and my future husband, to run one 10k a month for 12 months in the lead up to our wedding. So a total of 12 10ks, 120k total.

I do love a challenge. I have completed so many over the past 10 years – Yorkshire 3 peaks, Run to the Beat Half Marathon, Thames Bridges Bike ride to name a few, but these have all been one off events, this would be different.

Oh and before I explain our journey so far it’s imperative to mention that I wouldn’t class myself as a ‘runner’. I’m a Netballer by trade, team sport enthusiast. Yes, I have dabbled in running, probably more that I care to admit, but I am not particularly fast or elegant (in fact definitely not the latter). My mind-set has shifted slightly, but I’m pretty sure when December rolls around I will still refer to myself as a Netballer.

So why 10k? 5k is easy right? Well, not quite, but for me it’s not too unpleasant, it’s kind of over just as you get into it and it’s less of an event. So 10k seemed a bit more of a challenge, not anything like a half (never doing one of those again by the way) but just the right mix of pushing yourself and getting knackered! Interestingly, for two very competitive people, it’s not been about the times for us – we have improved our PBs massively, but we are pleased to just get round some of the courses.

So in December last year I officially entered the world of running – trawling websites to sign up to local runs. We have always had two events booked in advance and found it relatively easy to find runs nearby. The Wedding 10k Series started in Windsor, around Dorney Lake. It wasn’t quite how I pictured our first event to go – picture the scene, two weary runners set off having just returned from a 3-week trip in Asia, it was a struggle and 8k was not our friend, but we managed it and were pretty chuffed at the end. Since then we have done Richmond, Maidstone, Battersea Park, Windsor Trails, Greenwich Park and Clapham Common. We are officially half way – for August we are running at the Olympic Park and September we are taking part in Run Reigate!

Jennie - Winter

September was a tricky one, but when we stumbled across Run Reigate we booked it straight away. We live in South West London and have probably exhausted all of the key ones in our area so are pleased to be going a bit further afield. The website was great and although slightly more expensive than other runs we have done, I like the vibe and it seems worth it. The process to book was probably one of the easiest we have gone – as let me tell you some are hard work as you have to book separately for each individual.

I already like the feel of Run Reigate – I have been following them on Twitter and saw last week that they have made some improvements from their inaugural event last year, I like that approach. All of the feedback from last year seems really positive too and this morning it was announced that Olympic legend Dame Kelly Holmes is starting the race. I have to say I am impressed…fingers crossed she will present us with our 9th medal (hint, hint)!

As I mentioned before I work for Women in Sport, we are the UK’s leading charity aiming to transform sport for the benefit of every woman and girl. Wo do lots of research and lobbying for more women and girls to be involved in sport, whether it be playing, working or watching. As a result, it means I look at running events differently – I look from a personal perspective as an active woman, but I also look with a deep understanding of women’s perceptions and values that drive their decisions to start and continue running. Run Reigate has done well on both fronts, the communications denote a friendly run with a community atmosphere, while still offering a good challenge. The website is also great too, showing ‘real women’ and not just sporting runners in lycra taking part!

We have been roping in friends to run with us throughout the journey and hope to have a few with us as Reigate. So if you are taking part in Run Reigate, look out for us and give us a cheer, we will definitely need the encouragement!  

@jennielplatt

Run Reigate would like to wish Jennie and her husband-to-be, good luck in their Wedding 10K series and all the best for the big day!

St Catherine's Hospice Runner

St. Catherine’s Hospice – Charity Partner


Many people think a hospice is a place where people spend their final moments, but at St Catherine’s Hospice the focus is on helping people make the most of the time they have left.

The local hospice encourages patients to live well and recognises that people are more than their illness; it’s not their diagnosis, but their individual wishes and needs that matter most to the people at St Catherine’s.

Committed to providing the local community with the best possible end of life care, the local hospice has been providing free, expert care to people across Sussex and Surrey for the last 30 years. Last year, more than 2,000 patients were cared for at the hospice and in the comfort of their own homes, including 175 patients from Reigate*.

As well as tailored practical care, St Catherine’s also offers people: emotional support, welfare advice, spiritual care, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, complementary therapies and creative activities such as music and art. The hospice recognises that, at such a challenging time, emotional support is just as important as the physical care they provide, and are also there to offer support and advice to families, friends and carers.

Although their services are free, each day it costs St Catherine’s more than £17,000 to provide their care. Receiving less than a third of their running costs from the NHS, for the rest, the hospice relies on the generosity and support of the local community. By supporting Run Reigate, you’re helping ensure St Catherine’s can be there for people in future, when and where they are needed most – there can be no better motivation to run.

If you would like to find out more about how you can help support St Catherine’s, please visit:

www.stch.org.uk or call 01293 447361.

*Town figures from 2014/2015

One of our runners…

Joelle is just one runner taking part in Run Reigate and raising money for St Catherine’s Hospice.  Joelle was kind enough to give her thoughts about running for St Catherine’s this year.

“I ran last year and although it was tough I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the satisfaction of running my first half marathon. I knew a couple of my friends, (Kate and Romy) were keen and so once I saw we could run for St Catherine’s, the decision was made.  We all agreed it was a great reason to sign up!

I work at Reigate Manor and St Catherine’s is our chosen charity because it does wonderful things for people in our local community, we’ve also got our General and Assistant Managers to sign up to take part.

We each have a target of £250 but would ideally like to raise more.  We will have a JustGiving page which we will put all over Facebook and Twitter and just generally pester our friends and families to give as generously as they can!

Training is the hardest part, between us we have six children aged two to six and are juggling work and various other commitments.  We have to try and run in the evenings and weekends but we all have different schedules so we just get out for a run whenever we can.

It’s much more fun running together!

Running 13.1 miles and raising money for such a worthy charity gives you the biggest sense of achievement.  If you’re thinking about doing it in future years, just do it!”

 

If you would like to raise money for St. Catherine’s Hospice whilst running this year’s Run Reigate, please get in touch.

Run Reigate Race Start

Your Turn? Advice for entering your first race


After watching Sunday’s London Marathon, did you force your way into your cupboard, past the ironing board, pull your trainers out from under the bike pump and picnic blanket, remove the dead spider, brush away the dust and say to yourself “I’m going to run a marathon next year”.  Watching the London Marathon is so motivational, either as part of the crowds lining the streets, or on the TV, and every year thousands of viewers will be inspired to run the magical route.  Don’t let it just be a dream, if all those ‘normal looking folks’ can do it, so can you.  Here’s some advice to get you started…

IMAG0829

Trainer Time

First of all, those trainers that you dusted off which were popular in the 90s, have probably had their day and you should get yourself a new pair.  There are all manner of highly technical running shoes out there now, which not only look good, but also do useful things such as flexibility in the right places, superior cushioning, traction, gait support and breathability.  It’s well worth a trip to a running shoe specialist, such as Reigate’s Simply Sports, who can provide expert advice on the right trainer for you.

Join the Club

For many people, one of joys of running is the quiet ‘me’ time.  However If you’re serious about running a long distance, but nervous about embarking on this kind of journey on your own, it’s worthwhile finding someone to train with, or better yet, joining a running club.  As well as the coaching, you will find seasoned runners to give you advice on technique and lengthening your runs.  Even if you enjoy the solitude of running, being part of a group once a week, can help with your speed, endurance and motivation on those tough days.  Unlike some of your friends, these people will not drift into a light sleep as you chat about your new glow in the dark kit, or a blow by blow account of your favourite routes.  They love it as much as you do!

Plan of Attack

Whether you’re training for your first 5K or a marathon, you should always have a strategy. It is strangely satisfying, marking off each training run from your plan on the fridge door – even if you’ve actually missed it, but feel that it’s wrong to leave it untouched!  A plan gives you focus, makes sure you train enough, but not too much – and helps you build up the miles at an appropriate speed so that you don’t over do it too early and end up with a jammy ankle.  Runner’s World is a fantastic source for plans, as well as just about any other running question that you might have.

Power Up

As well as a running programme, it’s worthwhile scheduling in some other strength/cross training.  It helps prevent injuries, improve general fitness, recovery and it can be fun to exercise in a different way at times when you’re struggling with your running mojo.  This can come in the form of a fitness class (like British Military Fitness), gym sessions, swimming, cycling, spinning,  etc.  It’s important to look after your core strength, and running alone won’t do that.  Yoga, Pilates or some other form of stretching is also equally important and can really help with the restoration of those tired legs.

Race, Race and Race Again

Running a marathon is a pretty daunting prospect on its own.  However if you start planning in some races over the coming months, you can stop it from seeming such a mammoth goal.  If you’re new to longer distances start with a 10K and move up to half-marathon distances a few months after that.  Reigate Priory Athletic Club have a 10K race in July, which you could then follow with Run Reigate’s Half Marathon on the 18th September.  Regular Saturday Park Runs can help you to monitor your speed progress too.  Runner’s World has a comprehensive race list for the year, from 5K to Ultra (should you be so inspired).

Giving Back

Finally, the odds of getting a ballot place for the London Marathon are slim: but don’t despair.  There are hundreds of places with charities looking for first time runners, as long as you can achieve the sponsorship goal which is usually around the £2,000+ mark.  Charity runners for the Virgin London Marathon have raised over £300 million to date, which is phenomenal.  Apart from supporting a fantastic cause, other benefits of running for a charity include the support they offer, running advice, cheer points, being part of a team, a post-race party with a free sports massage and of course, not to forget the all important t-shirt.  Why not start raising money for one of our charities when you sign up to compete in either our 10K or Half Marathon.

If however, in the coming weeks you decide against running a marathon, it’s still worth entering Run Reigate as we have 2 great challenging distances, a kids race and a fantastic community atmosphere in Priory Park for all the family to enjoy.  Plus you’ll have some lovely new trainers…

 

 

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