Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s 12-strong team of runners took on the world-famous route around London on Sunday 28 April and are on track to raise enough between them to fund a Hospice at Home nurse for a whole year.
Francesca Lennon, who is a Children’s Hospice at Home Nurse at Rennie Grove, participated in the Rennie Grove’s marathon team.
Francesca said: “London Marathon for Rennie Grove – done! It’s hard to find the words to sum up the 26.2 miles as there are so many ups, downs, highs and lows in running that distance. For me, a huge part of running is about sharing experiences with those I care most about, something I know reflects what is important to so many of those that work for and have been cared for by Rennie Grove. So having crossed the start line thinking I was going to be running the marathon by myself, managing to co-ordinate mid race to find my sister and best friend amongst 40,000 other runners, then crossing the finish line with my best friend, really made the day for me. That combined with the huge number of friends and family supporting, not to forget the Rennie Grove support stand at mile 18, made it an incredible experience. Unfortunately it didn't make the last 6 miles any easier running wise! So when the legs were telling me they really wanted to stop I thought of all the children and our families that we look after and it really did help me through those last miles.
“'Running for...' followed by the names of our Rennie Grove children became a chant in my head to distract me from the pain and remind me of the reason I was running. I was so proud to be representing Rennie Grove and most of all I was so proud to be running for all the amazing families that I am privileged enough to help look after.”
Amber Stubbings from Chalfont St Peter said: “I can’t believe I have done it. I completed the London Marathon in 05:37:03 and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was hard in parts but I got through it. If it wasn’t for the medal and soreness all over my body then I would think it was all a dream.
“Words cannot describe the feeling of crossing Tower Bridge to that screaming crowd of people and then in the final mile, turning the corner and seeing Buckingham Palace and knowing you are almost there.
“I feel on top of the world but also quite sad because it’s all over. This was my first marathon but I hope it will not be my last.”
Dave Peterson from Chesham said: “Thankfully it was a cool day which was excellent for the runners. This was my third London Marathon and as always the crowds were fantastic. The support and cheers they give is amazing and so encouraging that you cannot give up even if you’re suffering.
“Thank you to the runner who helped me up when I fell while trying to kick a water bottle out of my way. I just suffered a few grazes and a smashed glass on my watch!
“Another marathon completed and a third medal to hang on my wall - well done to all the runners; a marvellous effort by all of you.”
Gill Hudnott from St Albans ran in memory of her Dad. She said: “In 2009 my lovely Dad required the services of Rennie Grove and, as this is the 10th anniversary of his passing, what better way to mark this?”
After crossing the finish line in an impressive time of 4:47:28 Gill added: “Wow what an experience! The run was amazing, so well supported and the sense of achievement is huge. Big thanks to Rennie Grove for their amazing support. It was a truly brilliant way to spend a Sunday with the added bonus of raising much needed funds for this amazing charity. I felt very special when I crossed the finish line with everyone cheering and calling our names – but also very pleased to finish!”
Stewart Marks, Chief Executive at Rennie Grove Hospice Care said: “The whole team has done a brilliant job with their training and fundraising. Their impressive achievements will make such a difference to families affected by cancer and other life-limiting illness. It is thanks to them that even more patients will have the choice to be cared for in their own home, surrounded by their families.”
If these stories have inspired you then Rennie Grove has 10 guaranteed places for the 2020 London marathon. If you would like to apply for one of these and help raise vital funds for a local charity that provides end of life care to adults and children you have until midday on Friday October 4. Visit our marathon page to find out more.