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Fundraiser prepares to run in aid of local hospice

Brian Hazlewood
Brian Hazlewood

[A] local man will be running through the heart of the Lake District starting on Saturday 29 July to help the care, support and activities provided at Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice.

This year’s Lakeland 50 will be special for Brian Hazlewood as he runs in aid of the local charity. The 50 mile challenge, which starts at the northern end of Ullswater and finishes at Coniston, will cross rough terrain and includes 3,000m of ascent.

Brian explained, “There are many great charities out there, and whilst I’ve got no personal experience of needing either Eden Valley Hospice or Jigsaw, I’ve been privileged to see some of the good work they do following previous charitable contributions I’ve made. I have participated in a zip-wire slide into Brunton Park and the One Great Day events in The Lanes Shopping Centre, where I’ve participated as part of the Innovia Films cycling team. As a local charity, which provides amazing services for local people, it’s one I feel honoured to try and do some good for.

“After being an active Parkrunner for a little while I finally summoned up the courage to join a local running club, DH Runners, in May 2016. It’s something I immediately regretted not doing sooner, they’re an amazing club, with far too many fantastic people to name. Their whole ethos is around encouragement and breaking down any of the taboos which make people think they’re not capable of being a runner.

“Since joining them I run 4-5 times a week, most of the time with other club members, and have already achieved things I thought I’d never do. Completing three half marathons in 2016, as well as a full marathon when Ben Smith did part of his 401 Challenge in Carlisle. He was a further inspiration in making me realise that when you put your mind to something you’d be surprised what you can do.”

Every runner taking part in this year’s Lakeland 50 will have their own memory, reasons and purpose for completing the course, which will pass Haweswater, Troutbeck and Ambleside. Whether it is to set a personal best time or to raise money in aid of charity they will all create memories which will last a lifetime.

Brian continued, “A club member, Andy Baker, suggested that the Lakeland 50 would be a great goal to set for 2017 and I thought why not. Initially I thought I probably wouldn’t be lucky enough to secure a berth, but I was there online the moment the entry opened and was quick enough to secure a place.

“I now have a series of half marathons, full marathons and numerous recces of the race route lined up during the first half of the year as the training and preparation scale up. I know it’ll be the toughest thing I have ever done, but raising money for such a great cause will only help motivate me.”

The money raised by Brian will help the local charity to provide care, support and activities to adults and children with life limiting illnesses. This care and compassion is extended to all of the patients families, friends and carers.

Year on year it costs Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw over £3.7million to provide the care, support and activities to local people. Approximately 28% of the funding is received from the NHS with the remaining £2million raised by the kindness, support and generosity of the local community.

Brian concluded, “I am looking forward to the training, following a structured plan which is specifically designed to get you to the start line in the best shape possible for what lies ahead. Having spoken to past competitors I’m also looking forward to the camaraderie during the event, whilst enjoying the amazing support from spectators along the way. Whilst a race to some, simply finishing is the goal for many, and as a result I’m expecting a real “we’re in it together” approach from a lot of like-minded people.

“I am not looking forward to the dark moments. Those moments when your body and head are saying stop, but you know you simply need to knuckle down and keep the effort going. Getting lost is also something I’m not looking forward to, although I hope this doesn’t happen. With the event being run when it is it’s inevitable that you will be in remote areas during nightfall, and it’s each competitors responsibility to self navigate. To help reduce the risk of getting lost, I’m planning to know the route extremely well through many recces prior to the event itself.”

If you would like to find out more information about fundraising in aid of Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice please contact the Fundraising Team on 01228 817613 or visit www.edenvalleyhospice.org

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