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Sally Williamson
Getting Fit for 50

Getting fit for 50

Sally Williamson, 48 from Sheffield is taking part in the city’s Big Fun Run at Rother Valley Country Park this Sunday, with the aim to raise £500 for Myeloma UK, a charity very close to her heart.

Six years ago, Sally’s father was diagnosed with myeloma, a cancer which she says the general public know very little about.

Sally tasked herself with getting ‘Fit for 50’. As someone who considers herself as never being physically fit, she decided to follow the Couch to 5K programme as an incentive to get her through the winter months. It was then she decided Big Fun Run Sheffield was a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

Sally explains: “I started the Couch to 5k programme on the 1st January this year, I graduated in March, and have been running a couple of times a week since.”

Myself and my son are running in Big Fun Run Sheffield (he’s coming along for moral support!) with the aim to raise £500 for Myeloma UK, a charity very close to our hearts.”

Reflecting on her achievements so far, Sally explains: “Born with mobility issues myself and never being confident at any physical activity at 48 years old, I decided it was time to give it a go and get Fit by 50. The Big Fun Run is a great opportunity to challenge myself without time pressures and a great way to raise funds for Myeloma UK!

To support Sally and this very worthy cause visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sally-Williamson4

Big Fun Run Sheffield takes place on Sunday 13th August at 11am, and promises a fun, relaxed atmosphere which is the perfect challenge to set yourself in 2017. To find out more, visit www.bigfunrun.com.

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Big Fun Run fever sweeping the nation

Big Fun Run Fever sweeping the nation!

Big Fun Run fever is sweeping the nation! With 7 events still to take place in the 2017 series, there may still be time for you to take part in a 5k Big Fun Run near you!

Taking place from July through to October, the Big Fun Run series kicked off back in July in Maidstone then travelled to the south coast with Big Fun Runners taking part in Brighton and Southampton. Next up was bonnie Scotland in Glasgow and Edinburgh and most recently Leeds and Nottingham in the North and Midlands.

Almost at the halfway mark through the series, hundreds of inspirational Big Fun Runners have already taken to the start line and completed their Big Fun Run journeys individually or with friends and family whether raising money for charities close to their hearts or simply to keep fit and have fun.

The 5K events are aimed at all members of the family with FREE entry for children under 5.

Big Fun Run events are the perfect way for runners to fundraise for a cause they really care about. Last year, over £200,000 was raised for charity and the series is brilliantly supported by hundreds of charities all throughout the UK.

Big Fun Run Event Director, Neil Kilgour said: “Tens of thousands of people take part in Big Fun Run every year, it attracts people of all shapes, sizes and ages. No event is timed, it is all about having fun and raising funds for a charity close to your heart.”

“Each run has a friendly atmosphere whilst offering an achievable challenge”.

“It is a great event for all the family and it is not unusual to see grandma, mum and daughter all lining up together at the start line. We also have many people taking part in fancy dress to add to the feel good atmosphere.”

The Big Fun Run promises a fun, relaxed atmosphere and is the perfect challenge to set yourself in 2017. The remaining events in the 2017 series are detailed below, click on the event to find out more details:

Big Fun Run Coventry
Big Fun Run Birmingham
Big Fun Run Ipswich
Big Fun Run Milton Keynes
Big Fun Run Newcastle
Big Fun Run London Victoria Park
Big Fun Run London Crystal Palace

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Vicky's 100km for MDNA Challenge
No Finish Line Until There is a Cure

No Finish Line Until There is a Cure

Vicky Paeschel, 27 from Sheffield is taking part in the city’s Big Fun Run at Rother Valley Country Park this August, as part of the ambitious challenge she has set herself to raise an incredible £10,000 for the MND Association in memory of her beloved mum.

Vicky admits she has never considered herself a runner but will be running for those who can’t, competing in a series of runs and walks across the UK covering a total distance of at least 100km, to help people affected by Motor Neurone Disease (MND), their families and carers.

Vicky’s personal experiences with MND have inspired her to become a dedicated fundraiser and volunteer for MNDA, a charity dedicated to improving care and support for people affected by MND, a fatal, rapidly progressive disease that affects the brain and spinal cords, attacking the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work.

After bravely battling her illness with incredible strength, Vicky’s mum sadly passed away in November 2008, at the age of 39, after a 9 month battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

Vicky explains: “My mum was the most generous, kind, compassionate and loving person. She was incredibly creative, loved to laugh and taught me that the happiest individuals in the world are those who put other people first, which is exactly what she did as a mother – always putting her 6 children first. Losing my mum has been devastating but I have since lived my life to make her proud and help others affected by this cruel disease”.

Having spent the last year getting physically fit, Vicky joined the gym and began exercising 4 times a week and lost 40lbs in the process. She completed her first ever race last June and Big Fun Run will be a very special event for her as she will be completing her “100km for MDNA” challenge she has set herself when she crosses the Big Fun Run finish line.

Reflecting on her amazing achievements, Vicky explains: “I have so far raised over £3,000. I will continue running to raise much-needed funds for the MND Association and awareness of MND as there is ‘No Finish Line Until There is a Cure!’ so that one day many families will not have to go through what we had to experience.

To support Vicky and this very worthy cause visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/100k-for-MNDA or text TYVM89 £5 to 70070.

To find out more about the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association click here.

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Deborah Thompson
Brave Mum Runs Big Fun Run in Memory of Mazie

Brave Mum Runs Big Fun Run in Memory of Mazie

Image ©Tressey J Thompson

Deborah Thompson is running at our Big Fun Run in Leeds on Saturday 5th August in aid of SANDS, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity who provide a wide range of support services to families effected by the death of a baby.

On 5th November 2004, Deborah devastatingly delivered her baby girl Mazie Eugenie Denham Sugden still born leaving her and Mazie’s daddy heartbroken. She will be completing her 5K run in Roundhay Park whilst holding a treasured picture of Mazie as support and will admirably be running to commemorate what would have been Mazie’s 13th birthday this year.

Deborah explains “I had many friends and family who wanted to run with me but I wanted to do this on my own, carrying a picture of my baby beside me as support. My friends will be waiting for me at the finish line with a banner and champagne as Mazie would be 13 this year”

Having already smashed her original fundraising target of £100, Debs is still working hard to continue to fundraise up until her Big Fun Run. Determined to complete her 5k Debs admits her fitness level is average but she is upping her training in preparation for the Big Day.

She said “This run is for you MazieMoo and all the other Still Born Babies”.

To support Debs and her fundraising for SANDS you can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/deborah-thompson10

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Big Fun Run Checklist

Big Fun Run Checklist

With less than a month to go until the first Big Fun Run 5km, the team at Run4It want to help you improve your run on the day! To do so, we have put together a checklist, compiled of items which we believe are absolutely essential for you to enjoy your run:

1. Correctly fitted shoes
2. Running socks
3. Sports bra for ladies
4. Comfortable clothing

Shoes

It is easy to purchase a pair of ‘sports shoes’, they look smart and are available in your size – done! Or you just need to dig around to the bottom of your wardrobe until you find those trainers from years ago. However, we recommend that you think differently about your footwear for the Big Fun Run. For it to be ‘fun’ you need to avoid injury, blisters or muscle aching, therefore it could be time for new shoes! At Run4It we recommend that you have your feet analysed by one of our team through our free runlab shoe fitting process. A simple 15 second jog in bare feet can tell us whether your feet need a stability shoe with extra guidance and support, or a structured neutral shoe with lots of cushioning. It is amazing how much of a difference correctly fitted shoes can make! If you are new to running, this is the one thing to get right.

Socks

If you have looked after your feet by getting the right shoe, then it is the perfect opportunity to accompany this with the right sock. The rule is simple: no cotton! Cotton retains moisture/sweat which can cause bacteria to build up and the foot to become irritated by the damp sock – most commonly resulting in blisters. To avoid this, look to running socks which contain synthetic fibres (such as nylon) to wick away moisture and allow the foot to breathe. Running socks can vary in comfort, based on the padding they have in them, as well as sock height and colour, so there are plenty to choose from!

Sports Bra

80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. 75% do not wear a technical sports bra when running. Sound familiar? It is said that no sports bra should ever reach a birthday, so for most women it is probably time for a sport bra fit! Not wearing the correct sports bra can affect your running gait and posture, it can cause up to 4cm of movement in the breast tissue and irreversible damage, and it can be really uncomfortable when you are trying to enjoy your run! This is why we place sports bras as an essential piece of kit. No matter you cup size, band size, or preference on bra style, you should always be able to find the perfect sports bra for you!

Clothing

If the feet are comfortable, you need the kit to match. With running tops it is the same as with socks, avoid cotton! A cotton top not only shows sweat and begins to smell much quicker, but it can also cause irritation and rubbing under the arms or on the chest. A technical t-shirt is much lighter and less restrictive around the arms – and it’s not an expensive piece of kit. As most of the Big Fun Runs take place during summer it could be warm, so consider a vest or t-shirt and if you are worried about being cold on the start line make sure you have a layer on top that you can quickly pull off and put to the side, or pass to a friend, before you start running.

Accompany your top with a good pair of technical tights or shorts to be fully comfortable. Within shorts every runners’ need should be covered: you can get shorts with longer lycra liners to prevent chafing; shorts with a split leg so that you are completely unrestricted; or simple lycra shorts that sit close and don’t move up the leg.

If you can check off every item of our checklist then you are good to go! If this is your first run, enjoy the experience and if you have done events before then welcome back! ☺

Our retail partner Run4It have lots of shops throughout Scotland, find out more and buy online at www.run4it.com

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6 Summer Running Tips

6 Summer Running Tips

With the sun making a more regular appearance and the weather hotting up, summer is a fantastic time to enjoy running in the great outdoors as well as clocking up valuable training for any runs you have coming up later in the year (Big Fun Run perhaps?). Check our 6 top tips to make those summer day runs as comfortable as possible.

1- Stay cool
Enjoy those longer summer days while you can and plan your runs in the mornings or evenings during the coolest parts of the day. There’s also something quite spectacular about chasing the sun at sunrise or sunset.

2- Quench your thirst
Staying hydrated before, during and after your runs is even more important on warmer days. Try drinking around 200ml every hour before your run to set you up for success. Water or a sports drink are good choices and you could also bring supplies along with you on your run in a water belt or pouch. Aim to ensure you have fluids after you finish too!

3- Loosen up
One of the simplest things you can do to keep cool during summer run is to opt for outfits that are lightly coloured and loose-fitting as well as avoiding attire that is too tight and instead lets your body breathe and feel the breeze.

4- Slap on the suncream
We all know the dangers of the sun’s rays and if you’re spending more time outdoors running it’s important to keep your skin protected, even when out during colder spells of the day. Choose an SPF 30 and you’re onto a winner.

5- Rest and refresh
Try adding one-minute walk breaks every five minutes when you run on hot days to help keep your body cool. As you feel yourself getting fitter and faster just shorten or skip the rests.

6- Give yourself headroom
You lose a lot of body heat through your head, which is a good thing during the summer months. Don’t cover up with cosy headwear instead choose a more breathable alternative such as a visor or mesh cap to keep your noggin’ happy.

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Be a Big Fun Runner in 2017 – entries now open
After the success of the Big Fun Run Series last year, the events are set to return in 2017 and are promised to be bigger and better than ever!

Taking place from July – October and set in some of the most scenic parks throughout the UK, the 5K events are aimed at all members of the family with FREE entry for children under 5.

The 18 event-long series begins in Maidstone on 15th July and then makes its way throughout locations in Scotland, the North West, North East, Midlands and South before finishing in London with a Halloween-themed run in Victoria Park on 29th October.

Big Fun Run events are the perfect way for runners to fundraise for a cause they really care about. Last year, over £200,000 was raised for charity and the series is brilliantly supported by hundreds of charities all throughout the UK.

Alec Syphas took part in last year’s Southampton event with ‘Team Alec Avengers’ to raise awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Alec suffers with the muscle wasting condition which currently affects his ability to climb stairs, and running and walking long distances requires a wheelchair. He decided to take part in the Big Fun Run with his mum, Rachel, so he can feel what’s it’s like to take part in a race and receive a medal.

“Alec is a super hero every day in our eyes” said Rachel. “He lives up to his Superhero Alter Ego every single day; the boy with a huge battle ahead and the biggest smile to do it with.”

Big Fun Run Event Director, Neil Kilgour said: “Tens of thousands of people take part in Big Fun Run every year, it attracts people of all shapes, sizes and ages. No event is timed, it is all about having fun and raising funds for a charity close to your heart.”

“Each run has a friendly atmosphere whilst offering an achievable challenge”.

“It is a great event for all the family and it is not unusual to see grandma, mum and daughter all lining up together at the start line. We also have many people taking part in fancy dress to add to the feel good atmosphere.”

The Big Fun Run promises a fun, relaxed atmosphere and is the perfect challenge to set yourself in 2017. Runners can take advantage of the early bird savings by entering before midnight on Sunday 22nd January, at which point standard entry pricing begins. To find out more about the 2017 Series, visit www.bigfunrun.com.

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Big Fun Run Sheffield
Green energy Penguins gear up for Big Fun Run Sheffield 5k

ECO Penguins gear up for Sheffield 5K

Halifax energy efficiency firm, YES Energy Solutions will be taking part in the Sheffield Big Fun Run this Sunday dressed as penguins.

Seven of YES Energy Solutions’ staff will hit the tracks at the Rother Valley Country Park, kitted out as the nation’s favorite sea birds to replicate their own company mascot.

They are running to raise money for the international charity Renewable World – an organisation committed to helping vulnerable people in developing nations access green sustainable energy.

YES Energy Solutions is a company committed to reducing fuel poverty. They help people improve the energy efficiency of their homes through insulation and heating upgrades.

Renewable World was the obvious choice for the company’s fundraising activities. The charity share a similar mission and help thousands of people in the third world improve their quality of life through low carbon technology.

Philippa Dyson, who works in the YES Energy Solutions’ compliance team is looking forward to the event.

‘I’m slightly apprehensive about wearing a penguin costume, but I’m sure it will be a good laugh and it’s for a great cause. We’re hoping to raise over £500 for Renewable World to help them with their valuable work.’

Domestic Energy Assessor, Cameron Urquhart has already started his training regime.

‘This is a great way to get fit whist raising money for charity. We’ve already doing some team training sessions so we don’t all collapse three meters away from the starting line…mind you, everyone knows penguins are not the most agile of birds out of the water!’

To support YES Energy Solutions’ penguin runners and to donate money to the Renewable World charity, visit the company’s Just Giving page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/yes-energy-solutions-2016

Late entries are open until 10am on the day, enter at www.bigfunrun.com/sheffield.

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Big Fun Run
Angela Morris and her charity team to take part in Liverpool BFR to raise awareness and funds in memory of Colin Hankin

Angela Morris and her charity team to take part in Liverpool BFR to raise awareness and funds in memory of Colin Hankin

Since the untimely death of her 18 year old son Colin Hankin in October 2000, Angela Morris has been raising awareness and donating cardiac equipment to save lives in his memory. She has donated heart monitors to identify dangerous heart rhythms and defibrillators to schools and communities to be used to restart the heart if a person suffers a cardiac arrest.

Due to her dedication and experience in the area Angela works as the Northwest Co-ordinator for the cardiac charity SADS UK. Together with family and friends she has raised awareness and funds in various ways, supporting the SADS UK Big Shock Campaign to make defibrillators available in all schools. Last year Angela was recognized for her commitment when she received the prestigious Cardiac Smart Award by the NorthWest Ambulance Service for her outstanding work in the community.

One of the biggest annual events that Angela organizes is the 5k Big Fun Run at Sefton Park, Liverpool, with friends, family and SADS UK members all taking part. She has been recognized for her fantastic support by the organisers of the Big Fun Run and Angela was invited to officially start the race in 2014, with hundreds of runners taking part.

Angela said: “I love the Big Fun Run. It’s a great day out for all the family and I was so proud to be asked to be the starter in 2014. Raising awareness is a very important part of what SADS UK does and the work I do is in memory of my son Colin Hankin. It’s lovely seeing all the charities come together raising lots of funds and awareness for good causes. There’s a great atmosphere and we are all looking forward to this year’s event.”

The sudden death of a child, young person or healthy adult is traumatic and devastating. This is why SADS UK donates cardiac equipment to save lives. The charity donates heart monitors to identify abnormal heart rhythms that must be treated and defibrillators to restart the heart if a person suffers a cardiac arrest.

SADS UK Big Shock Campaign to make defibrillators available in all schools has the support of the ambulance services and Dame Helen Mirren who heads the charity’s defibrillator leaflet urging for defibrillators to be in place in all schools to save lives. Dr Hilary Jones, Health Editor of Good Morning Britain has also extended his support to the work of the charity and recently become a Patron to SADS UK.

SADS UK funds research into SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome) and provides cardiac equipment such as heart monitors, event recorders and defibrillators to help save lives.

The Department for Education has taken heed of the plea made by SADS UK that all schools to have defibrillators in place and are now advising schools that modern defibrillators are easy to use, inexpensive and safe and advising schools to consider purchasing a defibrillator as part of their first aid equipment.

However, SADS UK will continue their Big Shock Campaign for defibrillators, lobbying Government until all schools have lifesaving defibrillators in place.

If you would like further information about funding research into SADS or placing a defibrillator in your community please contact Anne Jolly, SADS UK on 01277 811215, email, [email protected] web www.sadsuk.org.

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Sisters share family story before tackling Big Fun Run in Hove

Sisters share family story for tackling Big Fun Run in Hove

Three sisters are taking part in the Big Fun Run today (Saturday 23 July) for their other sister who suffers from a rare genetic disorder.

Emily Cowdrey, 26, of Central Avenue, Telscombe Cliffs, Jamie Cowdrey, 23, of Chichester Drive East, Saltdean, and Rachel Fant, 17, from Dartford, are due to tackle the 5k fun run which sets off in Hove Park at 11am.

Their sister Katie Fant, 20, from Dartford, suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) so they are raising money for the charity that helps people with the condition.

The trio have raised more than £500 so far, over their target for EDS UK Charity. And they hope to raise awareness, as like their sister, many wait years to get a proper diagnosis.

Emily Cowdrey said: “I’ve decided to do the fun run to raise some awareness for Katie’s disease as I feel like I’d like to do something for her.

“I can’t buy her things that you could buy a sister for birthdays or at Christmas so I thought by helping to raise money for her condition, maybe one day this will help her.”

Katie Fant had EDS diagnosed last year. It is a chronic illness which causes the collagen – or glue – in the body to become faulty.

At the severe end of the EDS spectrum, she has suffered from both postural orthostatic tachycarda syndrome (PoTS) and a mast cell disorder for four years.

They have led to her health deteriorating to the point where she has to take up to 60 tablets a day to keep her condition stable.

She said: “I was lucky that it only took me three years for a diagnosis. The average is about 15 but some people can go most of their lives unwell and being led to believe that their symptoms are in their head.

“I’m so proud of my sisters doing the big fun run. It makes me cry every time I think about the fact they are doing this for me.

“It’s such a thoughtful thing to do and I’m honestly so lucky to have them. They do so much for me and I’m so grateful.

“They have done incredibly to raise what they have and I’m shocked and so happy as that amount of money will go so far for a small charity like EDS UK.”

Despite having EDS, Katie completed her A levels in hospital and is now completing a university degree. She earned a first class grade for her first year.

Since 2007, Big Fun Run runners have raised more than £5 million for hundreds of charities.

The events aren’t timed. The aim is to being runners together with family and friends to raise money for a good cause and to do something healthy in the great outdoors.

Kay Julier, managing director of EDS UK, said: “Without fantastic fundraisers like Emily, Jamie and Rachel, EDS UK would not be able to provide vital support and information to people affected by this distressing condition.”

To donate to EDS, visit the charity’s JustGiving page.

To find out more about the condition, visit Katie’s blog.

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