Davina McCall and Paralympian Will Bayley urge locals to support Hospice Run

17th August

TV presenter Davina McCall along with Paralympian Will Bayley are encouraging people of all ages to sign up to the iconic Hospice Run this September.

This year’s Run promises to have something for everyone, with a new half marathon, and Hospice Heroes themed Family Fun Run, along with the classic 5km and 10km routes.

TV presenter and fitness guru Davina donned a Hospice in the Weald t-shirt as she shared this message to her Instagram followers: “I want to talk to you about Hospice in the Weald, it’s the most amazing charity. When my sister died, she died at home but, afterwards, when I kind of broke down, they really helped me out. They are fantastic! They are organising their 17th Hospice Run. If you love running this is a fantastic closed-road route. It’s so beautiful and scenic. September is such a nice time of year to do it. You taking part would mean the world to this charity so sign up and take a look at what they do.”

Paralympian Will Bayley, also of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ fame, is lending his support too and will be launching the Run on Sunday 17th September from Lower Common Cricket Ground, Tunbridge Wells.

Will said: “I’m officially starting Hospice Run in September and want everyone to come along and get involved, it’s going to be amazing. We are raising vital funds for Hospice in the Weald, it’s going to make all the difference, let’s go!”  

The routes
The scenic 5k and 10k courses takes runners past landmarks such as the Spa Valley Railway Line and High Rocks, while the new half-marathon follows an undulating route through Groombridge and Eridge. Younger participants are being encouraged to dress as their favourite hero for the new Family Fun Run which will wind through the Common and around Wellington Rocks. Choose one loop or two and watch out for a few surprise water sprays along the way!

Training plans and support

Local personal trainer and running coach Ollie McCarthy has produced training plans for the 5k, 10k and half marathon to help people of all levels of fitness get the most out of the chip-timed event.

Ollie, who is a Hospice Run Ambassador, said: “There are lots of reasons to take part in Hospice Run. Firstly, Hospice in the Weald is a great local charity and most of us will have been affected by the brilliant work the Hospice team does. Hospice Run has a variety of routes that can challenge people regardless of their fitness or running experience. We here to support you. I’ve put together training plans so you can train at times that suit you so you’ll be ready to take on Hospice Run.

Ollie added: “There’s a low barrier to entry so you can get a pair of shoes on and begin training. You will be getting fitter and stronger throughout the training, reducing stress as you immerse yourself in nature and improving your cardiovascular health.  You’ll also get a real buzz and sense of achievement.”

The event village will be buzzing with the sounds of the Old School Samba band as they send runners on their way and welcome them back at the finishing line, and there will be delicious food and drink including tacos, paella, burgers and ice cream for all to enjoy.Free mini neck and head massages will also be on offer to runners, courtesy of The Massage Company, Tunbridge Wells.

There are some fantastic prizes on offer from local businesses as an added incentive for fundraisers:

  • Personal trainer Ollie McCarthy is offering a free one-hour PT session for the first five participants to raise £500.
  • The overall top fundraiser will receive a £100 voucher for The Running Hub, Southborough, which can be used to buy new trainers or apparel.
  • The Massage Company, Tunbridge Wells, will be offering a free massage to the three fundraisers who are at the top of the fundraising leader board on the day of the event.

The event is being generously supported by lead sponsor Savills, along with G. Collins and Son, Childrensalon and Cripps.

Relationship Fundraising Manager for Hospice in the Weald, Jesse Ansbro-Brett, said: “Whether you’re a seasoned runner, would like to set yourself a new challenge to kick start the autumn or want to come along with the family, Hospice Run 23 is for you!  With 1,000 places this year, the atmosphere is set to be amazing. We are delighted that Paralympian Will Bayley will be launching the event and Old School Samba band will spur you on to the finish line where you’ll receive your medal before enjoying a well-deserved drink, bite to eat and free massage at the event village.

“We will be with you every step of the way to help you reach your fundraising target. There are some wonderful prizes as an added incentive and thank you. All funds raised support Hospice in the Weald, which provides free care for children and their parents to adults and their families across Est Sussex and west Kent. Your support means we can give families more time together when it matters most. This year we are aiming to raise over £60,000, please help us achieve this target!”

Hospice Run takes place 8.30am-12.30pm on Sunday 17th September. For details and to sign up, visit the Events section at hospiceintheweald.org.uk or call the Fundraising Team on 01892 820533.