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Brentwood Half Marathon 2017 round-up
Saint Francis Hospice was well represented by runners at the Brentwood Half Marathon, with thousands of pounds raised for hospice care.
There was jubilation, tears and sheer relief as our 60 amazing runners completed the 13.1 mile course through the Essex countryside to help fund our specialist care services.
Colin Wilkins, 35, was among the runners taking part in the Brentwood Half Marathon on Sunday (March 19th) and it was a very emotional experience.
Colin, from Rainham, was running in memory of his mum Aileen Wilkins, who was cared for by the charity's Hospice at Home team before she died in July 2015 and sadly his father Robert passed away in February.
"Strapping on my trainers and jogging 13.1 miles (or 26.2 next month!) pales into insignificance when you compare it to the care and support the hospice gave to both of my parents in their hours of need," said Colin, who will be taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, April 23.
"I lost my father four weeks ago suddenly, and whilst he wasn't cared for by the hospice at the end of his life, they were instrumental in supporting him when my mother was ill, and I will forever be grateful for that."
Colin Wilkins holds up his medal and a picture of his mum and dad
Another person using the Brentwood Half Marathon as preparation for the Virgin Money London Marathon next month is 47-year-old Nimo Saeed, who completed the race in an impressive 1 hour and 42 minutes.
"I was over the moon with my performance," said Nimo.
"It was an amazing uplifting experience and all the while you are doing it for a great cause - it doesn't get better than that!
"The public support is always so great at and this makes a big difference, even the solitary man sitting on his chair with a blanket around his legs clapping and smiling as we all ran past made a difference and was highly appreciated.
"The support up Doddinghurst Road, especially past the Brentwood Centre and all the way to the end was great and you finish on such a high with everyone cheering you on."
Nitika Kapur, 27, was also among the army of Team SFH runners runners, finishing in 2 hours and 10 minutes.
"It was my first ever half marathon and I loved every minute of every mile," said Nitika, who runs Day Lewis Pharmacy in Warley.
Nitika Kapur is all smiles after finishing the Brentwood Half Marathon
"Everyone was so encouraging and that really kept me going. Many of the people who come into the pharmacy are patients at Saint Francis Hospice and so I wanted to do something to support the charity too."
Sue Morgan was running in memory of her mum Sheila Crowley, who lived in Hornchurch.
Sheila bravely battled Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and was cared for by the Hospice at Home team before she died in March last year.
Sue said, "I smashed it! I am so proud of myself and I know my mum would have been proud of me too.
"Knowing I was running for such a good cause really kept me going."
Sue Morgan finished the race in 2 hours and 9 minutes
Ron Obodai, 52, from Chafford Hundred, finished his second Brentwood Half Marathon in 2 hours and 2 minutes.
"It was definitely hard work towards the end," said Ron. "I used to work for Halifax in Brentwood and Hornchurch and they supported the hospice for a few years.
"Even though I've left the bank I wanted to continue raising money for the charity as I know what amazing work they do."
Thank you to everyone single one of our runners for your incredible efforts in helping to raise funds for Saint Francis Hospice - we salute you!