Many will run to beat personal bests but more will be running to raise cash for charities close to their hearts. Here is a round up of who to look out for on the course and who to support in their charity challenge:
Kidney Research UK
A nurse from the Countess of Chester Hospital is running the Chester Half Marathon this weekend in memory of one of her patients.
Nicola Lee, a renal dialysis nurse, formed a close bond with John Cross over their mutual enjoyment of running during his regular visits to the hospital.
Their chats encouraged Nicola to raise awareness of kidney failure, but after John passed away late last year at the age of 54 she decided to run it in his honour as well.
“When I started running he used to talk to me about when he did marathons and those conversations inspired me to work harder and look to raise money,” Nicola said.
“It was a shock to all of us when he passed away and I just thought it would be nice to run the race in his name and increase awareness at the same time.”
Nicola first took up running with her husband Adrian, who also works at the hospital, to boost her own fitness after a pneumonia attack a few years ago.
She was left with breathing problems as a result and resolved to boost her lung capacity through regular exercise. It was during those first forays when John’s experience made a real difference and he was always following her progress.
John’s widow Lynn, who has been actively involved with fundraising for Kidney Research UK herself, was touched that Nicola thought about her late husband.
“We’re just so honoured that she thought of John at the time, because she could have just gone and done it for Kidney Research UK,” she said. “For me to have his name mentioned as well, it just means so much to us as a family because it’s remembering him.”
Nicola is now already planning to do the full Chester Marathon later this year as well.
To donate to Nicola’s cause visit her fundraising page.
Alder Hey Hospital
A team of runners from Bishops’ Blue Coat CE High School will run the Chester Half Marathon on Sunday to raise funds for a charity that is close to their hearts.
The seven staff will raise the cash for Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool where the only child of their colleague Antony Cross and his wife Sarah, is undergoing treatment.
Erin was first admitted to Alder Hey late in 2012, aged two, with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Since then she has had numerous treatments and procedures. Things were looking much better until March this year when some routine tests identified some significant problems.
Erin is now back at Alder Hey undergoing further treatment and staff, students parents and friends are supporting the family through their thoughts, prayers and fundraising.
To support Erin’s Army, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Erin-s-Army-For-Alder-Hey.
Hoole community picnic
Volunteers from the Soul Kitchen in Hoole are running to raise cash for a project known as the community picnic.
Fransis Roberts, 29, from Chester, Laura Dawson, 25, from Buckley, and Paul Tildsley, 32, from Chester hope to raise £1,000 to provide further food and equipment for the picnic, which occurs every Saturday from 5-7pm at the roundabout underpass on the corner of Brook Street. They are also hoping to raise awareness of the rising issue of homelessness and food poverty in Chester.
Teachers and support staff at Abbey Gate College will be running in aid of charity Children Today.
The group is hoping to raise around £1,000 between them to benefit the charity who provide specialised equipment and services to local disabled children and young people to help improve their quality of life.
To show your support visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/AbbeyGate-College?
A mum-of-four is running to raise cash for the Eccleston-based BIRD (Brain Injury Rehabilitation & Development) charity.
Karen Corner, 46 years old, was set the challenge by her eldest son and she is hoping to complete it in under two hours.
She said: “Not only is it a Chester-based charity but also the place two of my sons spent four years undergoing treatment.
“My eldest son has cerebral palsy and autism and the younger son has general developmental delay.
“We completed a strict daily exercise programme throughout the four years which in turn helped improve both boys general development.
“The staff at BIRD are amazing. We certainly felt that it was ‘a home from home’.
“It’s my hope that by raising money for the charity then others may benefit from receiving treatment there as we did.”
Alder Hey Bereavement Centre
A team of solicitors from Aaron & Partners will raise money for the bereavement centre that cared for a colleague’s family following the loss of their 15-month-old daughter.
Five runners from the Chester-based practice – called the Aarunners – have been training together since September and will raise funds for Alder Hey Bereavement Centre.
The centre supported Aaron’s dispute resolution and insolvency associate solicitor Anna Salisbury and her family following the tragic and sudden death of their daughter Romilly from viral myocarditis.
“The love and support we received from the bereavement team at the Alder Centre at Alder Hey was quite simply amazing at such a difficult and traumatic time,” said Anna.
“The bereavement centre provides vital care for families in the North West who experience the loss of a baby or child. I am so grateful to everyone who has generously donated to such a worthwhile cause.”
Running in the Romilly team are Jan Chillery Belcher, John Devoy, Bryony Cook, David Mann and Katie Dyson. They will be joined by a non-Aaron’s runner – Tom Marshall-Bailey.
A young restaurant manager from Northwich has donned his running shoes to run 136 miles over eight months in a series of events, all in aid of a charity that is very close to his heart.
Sam Self, 21, an assistant manager at Pesto Cabbage Hall just outside Tarporley, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes twelve years ago.
Sam was keen to help fundraise for the national charity Diabetes UK that has helped support his family, so created a gruelling plan to complete a number of long races totalling over 130 miles in 2016.
As part of his feat of endurance, Sam has already completed the Liverpool Half Marathon and Manchester marathon amongst others since March. He will run the Chester Half Marathon on Sunday followed by the Dublin marathon and Chester Marathon in October.
Sam has currently raised just under £200 and if you would like to support him you can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/runningman-Sam?
Churton War Memorial Committee
Chester resident Graham Cobden, aged 26, will run the Chester Half Marathon to raise funds for the establishment of a war memorial in Churton.
Nine men who died in the First and Second World Wars have been identified as having direct residential links with Churton yet there is no commemorative memorial in honour of them.
The sponsorship Graham hopes to raise will help meet the costs of planning applications and building costs for a memorial.
The Churton War Memorial Committee are extremely grateful to Graham for taking on the challenge in aid of a community development project and a registered charity.
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