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Heroes run to support local hospice

Colchester Sports Park saw almost 200 runners on Sunday 3rd March for the Hero Run to raise vital funds for St Helena Hospice.

The charity event, which was sponsored by Jones and Whymark, saw novice and seasoned runners taking part dressed in fantastic costumes, including Marvel characters, running 10k, 5k or 2k around the cycle track.

Each fun run was set off by Planet of the Apes characters from costuming organisation The UK Garrison, accompanied by Star Wars Stormtroopers. Olympic gold-medallist James Cracknell and councillor Martin Goss were on hand to award medals at the end of each run.

Lynda Conway led a team dressed as fairies in support of her 28 year old daughter Daisy Murfin, who is being supported at their home by St Helena Hospice. Daisy joined in the fun too by video call from home, chatting to Stormtroopers and cheering on her family and friends who were taking part in the fun run. Mrs Conway said: 

“I’m really proud of the team, they are amazing. They have been so supportive and have raised lots of money, and gave up their Sunday morning to run round a track dressed as fairies, and I’m very grateful to them all. 

“They came along because Daisy is fantastic and so is St Helena Hospice for looking after us all.”

Watching and cheering loudly throughout the event was the Vivifics team, made up of runners and supporters, led by Viv Ashley, who said:

“I am so proud of all of them. They know how I have been supported by the hospice over the last month or so, and they have travelled from miles away, some of them running with injuries, just for us.

“It speaks volumes how important St Helena Hospice is. I spent a couple of weeks in the hospice while they were working out my pain meds and I was looked after so beautifully. Everyone who came to visit me was looked after as well, and that’s a very special thing.”

Jane Pluck, who carried signs saying ‘My husband is my hero’ and ‘St Helena Hospice staff are our heroes’, was accompanied by husband Steve and son Harry, both dressed as doctors. Mrs Pluck, who briefly stayed at the hospice last year, said:

“I feel exhausted, happy, thankful. I did it to remember a few people and because the hospice is just amazing.”

Sarah Rogers ran with a photo pinned to her running top of her mum Sharon Daley, who was cared for by St Helena Hospice. Mrs Rogers took part in the 2k family fun run with husband Henri and children Jude,7, and Evie,4, and said:

“I’m exhausted now but my little girl managed to do it so I couldn’t stop, but it’s nothing compared to what everyone is going through at the hospice, so it was a pleasure and an honour to do it. The children set a sponsorship target of £50 and they raised £325 in the end.”

Thanking everyone who took part or sponsored someone to take part in Hero Run, Marcus Poston, partnerships fundraising manager at St Helena Hospice, said:

“It was great to see so many runners join us at the Sports Park on Sunday, and even our mascot, Saunders the elephant, managed to complete the 2k!

“All money raised from the event will go towards helping St Helena Hospice. Every year, we support more than 4,400 people, but our income is currently not enough to meet the demand for our services, so events like Hero Run are vital to help us continue to support local people facing incurable illness and bereavement. 

“As well as everyone taking part, we would also like to thank our fantastic event volunteers; Jones & Whymark Engineering Ltd for their sponsorship of the event; Colchester Branch of Sunbelt Rentals who loaned us three generators; The UK Garrison costumers; Carina Nea for leading our hero warm ups for each race; Pullys Party Pieces for providing an amazing balloon arch at the finish line; support from Colchester Sports Park; the police community team; and James Cracknell and Martin Goss for handing out the event medals.”

Image: Hero Run runners
Image: Hero Run runners
Image: Hero Run runners
Image: Hero Run runners

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