People choose to run for Revitalise for a range of different reasons including for their health and to raise funds for us. Read our runners’ stories below to get an idea of what to expect when running for us. 

Runners Stories - Ian Duxbury

Ian Duxbury

I competed in the 103 mile North Downs Way running race to raise money for Revitalise. I took part as I felt this was a small way for me to help recognise the wonderful work they do.

I currently teach at a secondary school in London. Through my teacher training and volunteering, I have worked in a number of schools and organisations offering specialist support for disabled children and adults and have seen first hand the challenges that are put on those caring and being cared for. Caring for someone you love, however rewarding, becomes an all-consuming full-time job. The work the carers do is incredible, most of the time taken for granted and often unpaid.

There are huge additional pressures placed upon those in a caring relationship, which can often lead to fractions and the relationship breaking down, something which is all too common and that I have seen with my own eyes. That’s why I support Revitalise. I strongly believe that everyone who needs it has access to a proper break. We all deserve it.

My family have had a relationship with Revitalise for many years. My sister volunteered at Revitalise’s centre at Sandpipers from 1997 as part of a placement during her college course in Health and Social Care, and then went back every summer. It provided her with a great experience and understanding of just how important it is to have respite, nurture your relationships and spend time in a loving, relaxed environment. It’s a philosophy she has taken with her as an occupational therapist and one that I will take with me in my future endeavours. 

Revitalise relies upon the generosity of their supporters to keep doing what they do. Without your support, disabled people and carers would quite simply go without much-needed respite. All the money the charity raises from appeals like this will go towards the Revitalise Support Fund, which was set up to provide funding for those who are unable to afford or access funding for their breaks from elsewhere. As demand for Revitalise’s service grows, it becomes even more crucial these funds are raised.

Although hugely rewarding, the North Downs Way race had many obstacles; the most notable being the heat and trying to stay hydrated during the 25 hours it took to complete the race.  I trained everyday for the challenge for eight months, fitting the training around my job. But what kept me going was the unfaltering belief that I was doing something positive to help support Revitalise and I feel proud I was able to give something back.

 

Runners Stories - Jo & Sue Sue King & Jo Watson

(Ran the London Marathon for us in 2013 when we were called Vitalise.)

Sue King:

My London Marathon experience for Vitalise was one I will never ever forget! The whole day was wonderful. Although the training in the snow and freezing temperatures was hard work at times, it was all totally worth it. 

Seeing Vitalise cheering at mile 19 was a truly up-lifting experience and helped me run the last 7.2 miles. It also really helped knowing they were there as it gave us something to aim for, then the end was in sight and not so painful!

My best mate Jo and I have known each other for 37 years and to run with a great friend who knows me inside out helped on the long journey. Crossing the finish line together was the best feeling! The excitement, the pride and the feeling I had – I felt like I had just run a marathon and I never in my life thought I would be able to achieve that! If I can do it, anyone can.

My advice for other first-time marathoners would be to have one day a week in your training plan when you go out for a long run whatever the weather. For me, it was a Monday morning as I don’t work on a Monday. Knowing I HAD to run on that morning whether it was cold, snowing or pouring with rain kept me really disciplined and organised.

Plan when you are going to take on gels/water and practise this: for me I took on water at every ‘odd’ mile; ie. mile 3, 5, 7, 9 etc. and gels at miles 7, 14 and 21. The week before the marathon, drink lots of water to keep you hydrated and rest. Enjoy the marathon and don’t start off too fast! Have a banana in your kit bag at the end. I really needed an energy boost as I felt a bit light-headed!

I would like to thank Vitalise for their fantastic support, encouragement, kind words, superb communications and all the invaluable information they e-mailed me. I always felt they were there for me and were very kind sending out Vitalise balloons, money collection cartons and sashes. The wonderful warm reception at the end was lovely – the massage, tea and sandwiches were most welcome!

Jo Watson:

Vitalise were superb. They were constantly in touch, supportive, encouraging and made sure we were fully aware of everything. Sue and I could not have asked for more. The massage and food at the end was the icing on the cake! At mile 19, they made us feel so proud to be running for Vitalise. The cheering was amazing and I will never forget the feeling. I am so glad we chose Vitalise; they made my first London marathon experience one I will not forget.

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