The Vitality Bath Half Marathon is one of the UK’s top three single day charity fundraising events, with many of its 15,000 participants running to support one of the race’s official charities.
The award-winning race, which takes place on Sunday 12th March 2017, has over 130 official charities from which to choose, including official Local Charity Dorothy House Hospice Care. Now celebrating its 40th year, Dorothy House offers end of life and palliative care to patients and support for their families in Bath, parts of Somerset and Wiltshire. It is of particular significance to 30-year-old Bath resident Lydia Storr-Meddings, who has chosen to run the Vitality Bath Half Marathon for Dorothy House after the outstanding palliative care her late mother received whilst suffering with cancer.
Lydia’s mother was diagnosed with stage 4 endometrial cancer in September 2015.
At the time, Lydia was in South Africa with her partner and now wife, Rachael. They had been travelling for a year and were enjoying their last couple of weeks. When Lydia received a message from her aunt telling her that her mother had an appointment and it seemed like there was a growth, she came back to England that same day.
Over the following 10 months Lydia’s mother received valuable support and help from Dorothy House, whose nurses visited her at home, at times on a daily basis. As Lydia had by then given up her part-time job to look after her mother, it was a huge comfort knowing that the nurses would be back again the following day, both for her as a carer and her mother as a patient.
Lydia’s mum sadly lost her fight against cancer on 6th August 2016.
Lydia says, “I would like to repay Dorothy House in any way I can, as the comfort and support given was so gratefully received.”
In preparation for the 2017 Vitality Bath Half Marathon, and with a target time of 1:50, Lydia will be making time to run along with the many other sports she enjoys. “I am a fairly regular runner, but tend to do it for self-satisfaction and fun, rather than competitively,” she says. “Signing up for the half marathon will help me focus and improve my running ability.”
It won’t be the first time that Lydia has run the popular 13.1-mile race through Bath city centre. In 2010, Lydia ran the Bath Half in memory of a good friend of hers who had drowned in the river Avon in Bath the previous year. “We had always said we’d run it together, so I couldn’t let him down,” she recounts.
She may have yet another poignant reason to run the race in 2017, but the money that Lydia and all the other charity runners raise for so many deserving causes is truly remarkable. In the case of Dorothy House, the funds donated will help the hospice to continue supporting over 900 patients each day. It will enable them to continue to connect patients to each other, to offer rehabilitation programmes and complementary therapies, and to provide counselling when the patients have said goodbye. The support of the community for Dorothy House, as is the case with so many charities, is paramount.
Emily Knight, Events Fundraiser at Dorothy House Hospice Care said: “We’d like to thank Lydia for sharing her Mum’s experience of Dorothy House Hospice Care and we wish her the best of luck for the future and with her run at the 2017 Vitality Bath Half Marathon. We’re delighted to be the official Local Charity for the race in our 40th birthday year and are looking forward to recruiting lots of amazing ‘Team Dotty’ runners to raise vital funds to provide care when it matters most. Over our 40 years we’ve supported more than 45,000 patients and families in Bath and North East Somerset, parts of Wiltshire and Somerset.”
Anyone wishing to run the 2017 Vitality Bath Half Marathon for ‘Team Dotty’, as it is affectionately called, can do so by visiting www.bathhalf.co.uk/charity/dorothy-house-hospice-care. The charity has 50 Silver Bond places available on a first come, first served basis, in return for a payment of £35 and a pledge to raise a minimum of £200 for Dorothy House.
Runners will be provided with all the resources they need in the run up to the race, as well as plenty of encouragement and support. With post-race massages, a running vest or t-shirt and a running handbook full of info and tips, runners will be extremely well looked after in thanks for their efforts!
The Vitality Bath Half Marathon is one of the most popular road racing events in the UK. The two-lap 13.1-mile course is renowned for its amazing crowd support and fast flat course, ideal for athletes of all levels including beginners and charity runners. Each year the race attracts a strong British elite field and a large number of celebrities who are attracted by the stunning setting, fantastic crowd support and the promise of a good finishing time.
The 2017 Vitality Bath Half Marathon is open for entries and places are selling fast. General public places have sold out every year since 2000 and, as always, runners are being advised to secure their place early through the race’s website to avoid disappointment.
Cancer Research UK is the Lead Charity for 2017, with Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens the official Family Fun Run Charity. The official Local Charity is Dorothy House Hospice Care.
Go to www.bathhalf.co.uk/charities for further details about running for charity, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/BathHalfMarathon and follow @bathhalf #bathhalf on Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest news about the Vitality Bath Half Marathon.