THE memories of those cared for by Prospect Hospice fuelled the efforts of the 100 people tackling the Prospect 10k yesterday.
Organised by the hospice, yesterday’s muddy challenge was the second staging of the event, which started and finished at the Nationwide Pavilion in Pipers Way.
Approximately 105 fundraisers set out in their yellow Prospect T-shirts at 10.30am and slogged their way through a course which took in Broome Manor Golf Club, Burderop Wood and Wood Farm.
Serious doubts were raisedover whether the fundraiser would go ahead as heavy rain waterlogged the course through Friday and Saturday, but changes to the course at the 11th hour ensured runners got their moment.
The first participant across the line was Brian Cooke, a 42-year-old printer of Royal Wootton Bassett. Brian was running in memory of his partner, Amanda Hedges, who spent six weeks at the hospice at the beginning of 2013.
Amanda passed away following a battle with breast cancer. Brian, a seasoned runner, wanted to raise money for Prospect because of the comfort it offered Amanda.
“They made her very comfortable,” he said. “They also provided great support for her family and friends.
“It’s been a very emotional day. I marshalled the race last year and this year I wanted to run it for her.
“Today isn’t a day for racing, it’s for fundraising. We are all here because we know Prospect is always in need of fundraisers.”
Kelly Cleverly, 27, a Nationwide worker from Old Town, was running in memory of Karen Lloyd, who was carried in a customised Costa Coffee coffin at her funeral last Friday following a battle with stage three cancer.
Karen was cared for by Prospect between December 2013 and February 4. She was somebody Kelly knew well, and as a result, she wanted to raise money for the charity.
“Karen raised so much money despite her illness and I felt I wanted to try and raise £500 with a last minute entry to this race,” said Kelly.
“Karen was like family for me since I was little. She took on everything with a big smile. I am sure if she was looking down on me out there today she would have been laughing.”
The first female finished was Allison Pearson, a 39-year-old PA of Pleydell Road. She was running in memory of her father Colin Mathers, who passed away in February 2008 following a battle with oesophagal cancer.
In her two years of running Allison has already raised around £1,000 for Prospect, with a run-out at last year’s inaugural event also contributing to her total.
“It’s difficult talking about it now. I haven’t really thought about anything out there on the course other than getting back here as soon as possible.
“The thought of the money people are sponsoring you with certainly helps you get through. You know you can’t let anyone down when the going gets tough out there.”