Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Running For A Cause - written for UK Athletics - 10/08

At every major running event – whether it is the Flora London Marathon, BUPA Great North Run or the Adidas Women’s Birmingham 5km Challenge – you will always find dozens, hundreds or even thousands of competitors running to raise money for charity. Here, NICOLA BAMFORD gives the lowdown on some of the most popular charities to race in aid of – but don’t neglect browsing the internet for a full list of charities to choose from!

· Marie Curie Cancer Care is BUPA’s official charity and therefore aims to attract the most charity runners to their cause for events such as the BUPA Great North, South, Manchester and Sheffield runs.

Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK’s largest charities and is best known for its network of Marie Curie Nurses working in the community to provide end-of-life care, totally free for patients in their own homes. It provides care to around 27,000 people a year in the community and is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.

The charity has lots of runs to get involved in from five kilometre fun runs to marathon challenges at home and abroad. Every £20 raised by runners provides an hour of Marie Curie Nursing care.

Pat Darling, Events Manager for Running & Special Projects at Marie Curie Cancer Care, said: “Be a Daffodil Runner this year. Get fit, get sponsored and get running. Everyone who signs up to the Daffodil Team will help people facing the biggest challenge of their life.”
To run for Marie Curie Cancer Care, please call 08700 340 040 or
email daffodil.team@mariecurie.org.uk. For further details visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/running
Daffodil Runner quotes:

Paul Parkes “My inspiration and motivation for the run are the people I will never know and never get to meet. I know whatever I raise will make a difference to the last days of somebody's life.

Olly; “After cheering MCCC runners on from the sidelines in recent years it was a totally different experience to be on the other side of the barrier, and one that I'll always treasure. If anyone's considering taking the plunge, allow me to humbly say that it is all most definitely worth it - what a fantastic occasion, and so many vests sporting team daffodil logos - incredible!”

· Breast Cancer Care is always on the lookout for runners to take part in the events listed below:
- London Marathon- New York Marathon- Belfast Marathon- Edinburgh Marathon- Loch Ness Marathon- Cardiff Half-Marathon- Great North Run- Great Manchester Run- Great South Run- Great Wales Run- BUPA London 10,000- 5km Adidas Women's Challenge- Swansea Bay 10km Race- Birmingham/London/Manchester 5km- Resolution Asset Management Women's 10km- Fresh 'N' Low Great Scottish Run 10km and Half-Marathon
Sarah Brown ran the 2008 London Marathon for Breast Cancer Care in aid of her mum; “Thank you SO SO much the whole day was just amazing. The best thing I have EVER done. The support from Breast Cancer Care all the way round was just fantastic and really carried me through. I just want to say a huge thank you for letting me run for Breast Cancer Care, I really did not want to run for any other charity. You have done so much for my family and it’s been great to be able to give something back.”

· Leukaemia Research is the only national charity devoted exclusively to improving treatments, finding cures and learning how to prevent leukaemia, Hodgkin’s and other lymphomas, myeloma and the other related blood disorders. From basic laboratory research to clinical trials with patients, the charity is committed to saving lives by funding high quality, carefully selected research throughout the UK.

Leukaemia Research is at the forefront of research. When the charity started in 1960 leukaemia was an almost certain death sentence, now more than eight out of ten children and three out of ten adults can expect to be cured. But much remains to be done and there is still a long way to go before the ultimate aim of Leukaemia Research is achieved - a cure for all cancers of the blood.

Leukaemia Research has a large presence at a whole range of races throughout the running calendar. Leukaemia Research is the official charity at a number of events, including The Brands Hatch Half Marathon (February), Asics Fleet Half Marathon (March), Asics Kingston Breakfast Run (March) and London’s new half marathon -Run to the Beat (October).

The charity’s running team is called the ‘Banana Army’ because of its yellow running vests. The TV Times Leukaemia Research running team is out in force at all the major events including the Flora London Marathon (April), BUPA Great Manchester Run, BUPA London 10,000, Bristol Half Marathon (September), The BUPA Great North Run (October) and the BUPA Great South Run (October).

Leukaemia Research organises two 10K runs a year – the London Bananaman Chase (June) and the Milton Keynes Bananaman Chase (September).
For more details on running with the Banana Army, or to apply for a place at a particular event through Leukaemia Research, visit www.banana-army.com, email sportsevents@lrf.org.uk or call 020 7269 9001.
Examples of celebrities who've represented us in the past:

With Olympic medallist and 1996 Flora London Marathon winner, Liz McColgan, as the team patron, the Banana Army enjoys fantastic celebrity support. In recent years a huge number of stars from TV and film have run for the Leukaemia Research’s TV Times celebrity running team in events across the country.

The list includes Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor Jason Flemyng, former Dr Who Christopher Eccleston, Ali G In Da House actress Kellie Bright and The Descent star Shauna Macdonald. Former Downing Street Press Secretary and Leukaemia Research’s Chairman of Fundraising Alastair Campbell has also run a Flora London Marathon and a BUPA Great North Run for the charity.

A number of stars from the TV drama Emmerdale are regular runners in the celebrity running team including Chris Chittell (Eric Pollard), Tony Audenshaw (Bob Hope), Christopher Villiers (Grayson Sinclair), Nicola Wheeler (Nicola de Souza), Matthew Wolfenden (David Metcalfe) and Jeff Hordley (Cain Dingle). Chris Chittell and Tony Audenshaw have been running for Leukaemia Research for a decade. In that time, Tony Audenshaw has consistently been among the quickest celebrities and he even held the title of ‘fastest celebrity’ at the Flora London Marathon for three years running between 2004 and 2006. Will Ash, star of Where the Heart Is and Clocking Off, is fast becoming a pretender to Tony Audenshaw’s crown, finishing on 2 hours 58 minutes in the 2008 Flora London Marathon.

Other regulars include Coronation Street’s Graeme Hawley (John Stape) and Vicky Binns (Molly Compton). The Bill’s Steve Hartley, Midsomer Murders’ Daniel Casey, Heather Peace of London’s Burning, Jason Merrells of Waterloo Road and many more.

Gavin Spencer, Head of Sports Events at Leukaemia Research, said: “The Banana Army is about having fun whilst also doing something really positive to help people with blood cancers. It doesn’t matter if you are new to the events or an experienced athlete - we’ll look after you and make sure you have a great time!”

“By joining the Banana Army team you are entitled to: discounts with selected sponsors; a fundraising pack full of helpful hints; an exclusive training guide from our celebrity fitness coach; a Banana Army running t-shirt so we can spot you in the crowd plus regular team updates and newsletters.”

Emmerdale actor Chris Chittell: Emmerdale actor and TV Times running team regular Chris Chittell said: “We have great fun and all the training keeps us in good shape, but we never forget why we turn our every year. The lives of so many people will be saved thanks to the cash from those who sponsor us and, of course, from the many thousands of fantastic runners who have joined the team and raise money themselves.”

Other regular runners in the Banana Army: Matthew Lawley, 30, from London, said: “Many other people are not as fortunate as my father and do not survive. The reason I’m putting myself through these sporting challenges is to raise awareness of leukaemia, particularly amongst older people, and to help fund the vital job that Leukaemia Research does.”

Toby Whiffin, 26, from Aylesbury, said: “In 2004 my girlfriend, Kate Chapman, passed away having been treated for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia for three years. She was aged 23. I had never undertaken any runs up to that point but I know that Leukaemia Research is a cause that Kate had a great deal of passion about, and I hope to carry that on in my fundraising.

Jon Webster, 40, from Kendal, who lost his brother to leukaemia: “Through raising money for Leukaemia Research, I know I have contributed to improving treatments for leukaemia patients and ultimately a cure for this terrible disease.” It is, he says, “comforting to know that, with the advances of medicine, my brother would have survived if he had been born 40 years later. This is what motivates me through the pain of battling to cross that finish line.”

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