05 January 2018

Heroes don’t always wear capes

We may only be a few days into 2018 but Rennie Grove Hospice Care is already seeking participants for this years’ Herts 10K which takes place in Harpenden on Sunday 14 October.

Booking your place now gives you plenty of time to train and there’s an added incentive of an early bird discount on the entry fee.

The Herts 10K is Rennie Grove’s biggest fundraising event each year. It provides a great opportunity to join with thousands of others to complete the course whilst experiencing a wonderful feeling of community in a genuinely supportive atmosphere.

Joanne Perry was part of a team from Sherrards Solicitors that ran the Herts 10K inHerts 10K Team Sherrards Joanne Perry No 1091 2017: “I’m not quite sure what I was thinking. I hadn’t even run for a bus before but somehow found myself agreeing to enter a 10K run as part of Team Sherrards.

“Sherrards has always been an ardent supporter of Rennie Grove and has regularly entered teams in the Herts 10K. Having literally never done any running before, I invested in a 0-10K app that involved increasing my running distances over the course of 14 weeks. They were 14 weeks of pure agony – I am definitely not built for speed!

“The day of the race came and I was absolutely terrified. My colleagues were extremely supportive and encouraging. The atmosphere at the start line was incredible and I found myself chatting to various people in the starting pens, all of whom had their own stories to tell.

“As I passed the 9K mark, I wasn’t feeling too bad. I could see a line of runners snaking ahead of me, around the field and then through a gap in the hedge to what looked like the last stretch before the finish line. Once I had gone through the hedge however, I realised that I had further to go than I thought. I’m not sure what happened then. All I know is that my feet decided they were going to stop and I was struggling to breathe. I couldn’t do it. It was as simple as that.

“Then came my knight in shining armour. A man I didn’t know ran to me and told me that I was not going to walk that last bit of the race and that he would run with me. And he did. All I can remember is his calm voice telling me to keep going, to keep my head up and to keep focused on the finish line.

“I’m so grateful to that man. He saw me struggling and came to my rescue and helped me to cross that finish line running by my side.” 

Joanne’s knight in shining armour was Tom Abbott from Harpenden.

Tom said: “Last year’s 10K was my first competitive running event since the London Marathon in 1999 so I was nervous but also looking forward to seeing if I could still do it and do it well. The 10K is not a competitive event for most of us, but more of a personal battle with our own challenges and demons and all for a very good cause that's particularly close to my heart. 

“I noticed a runner ahead of me at around 9K and I realised that she was beginning toHerts 10K Tom Abbott struggle and looked to be having a problem. As I drew up alongside Joanne, I struck up a conversation about what hard work I was finding it and that I hadn't done anything like it this century! I told her that I knew it wasn't far to go to the finish, it was downhill into the park and we would do it together and she would go through first. We turned the corner into the park and both had the reward of seeing the finishing line with spectators cheering everyone through. I think we were both overjoyed to have made it, it was a shared experience that I am sure was repeated many times that day with runners and walkers, all with different personal and sporting targets perhaps but a common goal to help a great cause.” 

If you want to experience the unique atmosphere and camaraderie of participating in the Herts 10K with thousands of others whilst raising funds for an important local charity then please visit www.herts10k.com. Take advantage of the early bird discount by booking your place before 28 February 2018.