Meet our marathoners!

Meet our marathoners!

  Published to Your Stories on Aug 23, 2018

Matthew Bowman aka The Marathon Man (ambassador and Mind over Marathon support)

I started in 2014 when I went for a run and didn’t make it a mile, sat on a wall and cried at what I’d become. The day after I went out and ran the mile and haven’t stopped since. 9 marathons including a Chicago Qualifying time of 3:23:53 being my personal best, 1 ultra-marathon (53.5 miles in a day), so many half marathons/10ks I have lost count however since the day of my unsuccessful mile I have now run 4173 miles…

My granddad who was/is my hero died in the hospice after a battle with Cancer. His final days were spent being treated with respect and dignity, as were we as a family. I vowed to help make one families experience like ours through helping to raise funds through my own pain of completing challenges. 

I am aiming to run the 6 world major Marathons London (Which I’ve applied for 5 times unsuccessfully) Berlin (Ran in 2017) New York, Boston, Chicago (Qualified for the 2019 race) and Tokyo. My final marathon will be the Great Wall of China marathon once all the world majors have been completed. Me and my hospice vest have ran in places from Bolton to New York, from Bridgend to The Maldives…where ever I go it comes with me!! #vestontour

My training has been intense and since I started I’ve only really had at most 3 weeks without running. Training gives me a focus and a goal so when one race has been run the next one kicks in. 2019 sees a slight deviation from the usual marathon training as I will be training for my first (and only) Ironman UK IN Bolton whilst still training for marathons in Manchester, Chicago and hopefully London

For as long as I can I will, for those who would love to but can’t I will…I will race to make a difference #teamboltonhospice

Helen Calderbank - about 2 years of trying to ‘run’ round the block with very little success.

As a volunteer on the ward, I see the dedication of all staff, from admin, housekeeping through to medical staff and the difference it makes to the patients and their families. I have known neighbours, friends relatives and colleagues pass through the doors too, so know how the care is appreciated! Whilst in Giles House I see the passion of fundraisers who come in for events and personal challenges, in memory of loved ones. I get to see what the hospice means to these people. I meet some remarkable people  and love hearing their stories, it's always an interesting morning. I also get a behind the scenes view of just how much goes into fundraising events and the effort put in by the fundraising department!

( I've no fun fact!) but I would advise people to look for any local running groups to join if they have always wanted to run, it's a great way to motivate yourself.

I can't lie…. training is not easy! However, here I am, doing 13 mile runs, when at Christmas I was struggling with 13 minutes! Just as you feel confident with one time / distance you move on, so it feels like it never gets easier! But, progress was fast at first, which was a lovely morale boost. Michelle M training plans are amazing!! And as a newbie I have learnt a lot, I didn't know what a ‘long’ run day was at first!! I do now!

I've discovered a whole new running world out there, in magazines, social media and feel proud to have joined in! I just needed a goal, focus to kickstart my journey, and MOM was it!

I'm hoping this is the start of a new ‘running’ me from now on!

Hayley Cooper - running in my Grandad's memory

I decided to do the York Marathon for Bolton Hospice as they looked after my Grandad for respite and end of life care. They provided an exceptional, caring service for both my Grandad and his family. They made us feel welcome, comforted and was always laughing and joking with Grandad. Unfortunately my Grandad, Harry Longsden, passed away on the 16.02.16. 

When Grandad passed away I said that I would run a marathon to raise money for Bolton Hospice. At the time I was having problems after a routine operation not working correctly and it left me unable to walk, sit or stand without being in pain. After a few more corrective surgeries I was able to walk and run again and 4 months later in October 2017 I ran the Manchester Half Marathon for Cancer Research. In the December  I saw an advertisement for the Mind Over Marathon and knew this was what I wanted to do.  

When I signed up, I never expected the training to be as hard or time consuming as it is. I had to have 8 weeks off training in March 18 - April 18 due to another operation but I have managed to get catch up on training and so far doing okay. I'm currently training 4-5 days a week and just hoping everything pays off on the 14.10.18 when we run the York Marathon.

I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read my story or sponsor. It means a lot being able to give back to the amazing people who gave care and time to Grandad when he needed it most. Thank you, Hayley x 

Damien Brindle - try get lost when I run so I discover new places and run further!

I got into running as I had a car crash a couple years ago and was depressed and in pain at home feeling life was done due to my injuries and so I signed up to do a marathon within 12 months, which was Manchester. It helped me recover as I had to in order to do the marathon so running really helped me and now I like to use my running to help others hence why I run for charities. I’ve found the training ok...I don’t always follow the plan as I’m all over the country with work which involves a lot of traveling but I’ve been doing lots of races so taken these as my training. To me the hospice is somewhere to give people that precious end of life care, I’ve not had any direct relatives cared for by the hospice but I’d rather help now and support now so I know they will still be around in years to come and continue the care they provide. My 5 year old now runs and at 44 I struggle to keep up with him!

Mark Sutton - determined to conquer the marathon beast!

I joined the Army when I was 18 and as you can imagine did lots of running, but the truth was I actually hated running, and never ran again after I left the Army in 1995. In 2006 I decided to get fit again and took up running. Been running since then but only 10k races and the odd Half marathon, but never had the courage to do the full marathon until now thanks to the hospice. 

The hospice has a very special place in my heart as in July 2017 my Dad spent his last days being cared for by the fabulous doctors and nurses and not forgetting the volunteer workers who do a remarkable job. When my dad was admitted to the hospice it lifted his and our family’s spirits and I will never forget that. As a fun and interesting fact, over the last few years I am always searching for crazy adventurous things to do ( miss spent Army career)in Jan 2016 I entered part of the SAS selection course in the Brecon Beacons which was run by a company of ex SAS soldiers who ran it for ex-military and civilians, I did the fan dance stage which was a 16mile trek carrying 45lb across Pen y Fan the highest mountain in South Wales. I did this to raise money for Alder Hey children’s hospital as my nieces baby lost his fight for life in there the year before. I said to my wife Trish I would never do anything like that again as she was so worried about me during the event. But of course I broke my promise and entered it again this time doing it in summer in extreme heat but raising lots of money once more. On to my next and what I consider my ultimate challenge - The Marathon. 

My training is going well and besides the odd niggle knee pain etc is going injury free (fingers crossed ) The programme Michelle did for me is fantastic and very rewarding, I can feel myself getting stronger with every run , and the memory of my Dad and my love for the hospice makes me more determined to get to the start line in October and conquer this beast.

Vicky Evans-Jones - not chickening out this time!

Hi I’m Vicky and I’m 39 years old. I’ve been running on and off for about 9 years but always seemed to get to a distance of 5 or 10k and then stop for a year and then have to start again from scratch. At the beginning of last year I wanted this to change and decided to have a running event booked every month so I had the motivation to train and I ended the year running 2 half marathons which is an amazing achievement for me.

I’ve always thought about running a marathon but wasn’t confident enough to do it by myself. I had looked at booking the Yorkshire Marathon a couple of times as it takes place just before I turn 40 but self doubt crept in and I chickened out.

As soon as I saw the Mind over Marathon challenge I signed up straight away. Not only do I get to run the Yorkshire Marathon with amazing support but I get to raise money for Bolton Hospice so it was a win win. Training has been good so far and I am amazed at how far I can push myself. Doubts do creep in and the training can get a little overwhelming but we are such a supportive group and are always inspire each other to keep going.

Bolton Hospice is an amazing place that touches so many people and provides an essential service to the patients and their families. I want to raise much need funds for the hospice to allow this service to be available to all who need it. 

Joy Redwood - dreaming about running a marathon

My previous running experience the last 5 years has been inconsistent.  I start in spring and normally start training for a 10 km and I have done a couple of half marathons. My dream was always to run a marathon but never had the confidence until I saw the Mind Over Marathon challenge on the hospice website. This was my chance to train with like-minded people and raise money for my local hospice. 

I work as an occupational therapist at the Royal Bolton Hospital and have involvement with the hospice through my work. On a personal level, family friends and acquaintances have been supported by this amazing place and I couldn’t be more proud to run this marathon for this charity

Training for this marathon has meant that my family has got involved too.  My daughter has run the park runs with me and my hubby is now my running coach we are all doing this journey together even on holidays I have took the vest and running plan with me

Getting to the half marathon stage was not to bad, the heatwave was a challenge ,but the last leg of the training plan has definitely been mind over marathon this is where having a group like this has kept us all on track being inspired by awesome people who are all focused for different reasons.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in this challenge and can't wait for race day and run together for this amazing charity.

Alex Brodie - planted a kiss on Matt Bowman after the Chester Marathon :D

I only started running 3 years ago after I got back in touch with my old primary school pal Matt Bowman. He convinced me to sign up for my first marathon last year and he ran the whole way with me which was great! I ran for the hospice then and I’m running for them again come the Yorkshire marathon this year. Both my grandpa and his brother were cared for at the hospice several years ago and my mum used to volunteer there too. I’m a GP now and I know how vital hospices are to patients and their families. 

My training is going ok but a bad injury to my ankle in January took ages to settle down. I’m hoping to beat my previous time but it’s really all about running with Matt and the rest of the Mind Over Marathon bunch!

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