It says something for the atmosphere and the experience of running the Herts 10k that even the most reluctant of runners keeps coming back for more!
Harpenden resident Lance Trendall will be among the 3,000 expected to take part in what has become the flagship event on the Rennie Grove fundraising calendar on October 8.
Lance says: “I love the work Rennie Grove does – but I loathe running. But nobody will sponsor me for playing badminton, which is something I do enjoy!”
The event starts and finishes at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, and follows a challenging, multi-terrain route marshalled by Rennie Grove staff and volunteers who are on hand throughout the day to ensure everything goes smoothly.
The reluctant runner, a land sales specialist, explains: “On our probate sales we give 10 per cent of our fee to charity with five per cent always going to the nearest hospice. The client then nominates their charity for the other five per cent - but it isn’t enough, so we all need to help.
“We all know that good habits are the easiest to give up and I hadn’t run for years. But I remembered that I used running to help me stop smoking more than 35 years ago. Back then I thought I may as well apply the healthier lungs to something good as I’d tried to give up smoking loads of times and running half marathons really worked.
“It was much easier to give up running than smoking, so now I keep fit playing badminton and I reckon if I can go on court for three hours, I should be able to run 10k.
“Now I really don’t like running, I find it boring and I always wonder why I’m doing it. At the start of the 10k last year I was saying ‘I’d better do well because this is the very last time I’m ever doing this’, but in the last mile I heard myself thinking ‘I wonder if I can do better next year…’ and that’s why I’ve signed up again.
“The atmosphere is inspiring, I get passed by people who look a lot less fit and I pass people who look like elite athletes and should be able to go faster, so you’re never alone and never without encouragement - a bit like the care Rennie Grove provides in a time of need. So why shouldn’t I do something I don’t like for an hour and 10 minutes (maybe less this year) if it helps to raise money for someone in need?
“The first time I did the 10k in 2012 I was in the company of my three sons, who all did better times. This year they’ll be even faster but it’ll be great to know they’re waiting for me to finish!
“Even if you don’t like running either, come and join the 3,000 people at Rothamsted Research for a mostly off-road country run, or walk. Whatever speed you go, you will never be alone and the exercise is good for us and the money raised is crucial to someone else.”
Rennie Grove Director of Fundraising & Marketing, Gillian Barnett, said: “The Herts 10K raises much-needed funds for Rennie Grove, supporting local patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families. Last year the event raised nearly £100,000 in sponsorship, which was a fantastic achievement, and we’re hoping to raise even more this year.”
Early signs look good as the charity reports a record-breaking number of registrations at this point compared with previous years.
“If everyone who has signed up so far could raise just £50 in sponsorship,” said Gillian, “we’d be able to fund a nurse for more than a year.”
To play your part in supporting local hospice care in the heart of your community, join thousands of like-minded runners, joggers and walkers in Harpenden on Sunday October 8. Register online at www.herts10k.com today to be sure of securing a place.