Chester charities will be better off thanks to runners who tackled the Chester Half Marathon on Sunday. Some were running to beat their personal bests but others took the challenge to raise cash for a cause close to their heart.

Race director Andy White of Active Leisure said: “From start to finish this has been a race to remember. We are absolutely delighted with the number of athletes, volunteers and supporters who have all played their part in making it such a remarkable day.”

“It’s clear from what they are already telling us that a massive thanks from the runners is due to the communities on the course, especially those of Mollington, Saughall and the Garden Quarter, for the support they gave both in terms of encouragement and refreshment!”

We look at some of the charities that people supported this year:

A team of Chester solicitors ran to raise cash 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 Aaron & Partners– called the Aarunners – raise more than £3,150 for Alder Hey Bereavement Centre.

Jan Chillery Belcher, John Devoy, David Mann, Bryony Cook and Katie Dyson – completed the 13.1 mile event on Sunday spurred on by Romilly’s family, including their colleague associate solicitor Anna Salisbury whose daughter Romilly died aged 14 months from viral myocarditis.

John Devoy gave credit to all who took part. He said “I’ve always thought that running was an utterly miserable sport to participate in but running the Chester Half Marathon has made me realise that, notwithstanding the vast majority of the 7000 plus runners looking like they agreed with me, they were still prepared to put themselves through it to raise much needed money for good causes.

“All credit to every last one of them, but especially to Aarunners who convinced me to run my first Half. It may not even be my last!”

Claire House Hospice

Some of the members of Team Carroll who ran the Chester Half Marathon in memory of Bishops' Blue Coat CE High School pupil Aidan Carroll
Some of the members of Team Carroll who ran the Chester Half Marathon in memory of Bishops' Blue Coat CE High School pupil Aidan Carroll

A group of school friends have raised more than £2,500 in memory of their classmate by running the Chester Half Marathon for Claire House Children’s Hospice.

The team, from Bishops’ Blue Coat CE High School were running the 13.2 mile race in memory of Aidan Carroll, who passed away, aged 17, following a battle with childhood cancer Ewing’s Sarcoma.

Related story: Tributes to 'incredibly brave' Chester teenager who has died of cancer

The 20 friends chose to support Claire House, based on the Wirral, after Aidan rested in the hospice’s Butterfly Suite following his death. His friends and family are also receiving ongoing support from the charity’s family support team.

Aidan’s friend Millie Newall, 17, said; “We were set on doing something for Aidan. We chose to run a local race because everyone could be there, which is what Aidan would have wanted; all of us together.

“The whole way through his illness, he was so positive. Aidan was in my maths class and even when he was going to Alder Hey for treatment, he never stopped laughing and joking.”

The money raised by Aidan’s friends and family will help support the work of Claire House, allowing seriously and terminally ill children and young people from Chester to live life to the full by creating wonderful experiences and bringing back a sense of normality to family life.

Millie added: “At Claire House, it wasn’t about the team just getting their job done and going home at the end of the day. They made sure that Jen, Aidan’s mum, was well looked after and gave her the space to grieve. They let Aidan’s best friend Tom spend time with Aidan which has helped him to say goodbye. They were so patient.”

Claire House Events Fundraiser Beccy Davies praised Aidan’s friends and family; “Aidan was so well loved and this shines through in the dedicated fundraising of so many people. We are so grateful for their support, as it means that another family like theirs can benefit from the outstanding care Claire House can give.”

Alder Hey Hospital

Staff from Bishops' Blue Coat CE High School Stephen Moffatt, Matt Oakes, Peter Coates, Emma Fletcher, Lucca Hobbs, Helen Smith who ran the Chester Half Marathon as Erin's Army for their colleague Antony Cross's daughter Erin who is undergoing treatment for leukaemia at Alder Hey Hospital. They had raised £880 to date
Bishops' Blue Coat CE High School Stephen Moffatt, Matt Oakes, Peter Coates, Emma Fletcher, Lucca Hobbs and Helen Smith

Staff from Bishops’ also ran the race as Erin’s Army to raise funds for their colleague Antony Cross’ daughter Erin who is undergoing treatment for leukaemia at Alder Hey Hospital.

Deputy headteacher Peter Coates said: “All of us survived well with some of the team securing great times. We had some excellent support from students, colleagues, parents and families around the course as well as in sponsorship for Erin’s Army for Alder Hey which currently stands at £880 and is still rising."

To support the team visit their fundraising page.

Alder Hey Bereavement Centre

Aaron & Partners Aarunners John Devoy, Katie Dyson, Tom Marshall-Bailey, David Mann and Bryony Cook completed the Chester Half-Marathon for Alder Hey Bereavement Centre in memory of Romilly Salisbury
The Aarunners John Devoy, Katie Dyson, Tom Marshall-Bailey, David Mann and Bryony Cook

A team of Chester solicitors ran to raise cash 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 Aaron & Partners– called the Aarunners – raised more than £3,150 for Alder Hey Bereavement Centre.

Jan Chillery Belcher, John Devoy, David Mann, Bryony Cook and Katie Dyson – completed the 13.1 mile event on Sunday spurred on by Romilly’s family, including their colleague associate solicitor Anna Salisbury whose daughter Romilly died aged 14 months from viral myocarditis.

Romilly Salisbury whose family were supported by Alder Hey Bereavement Centre after she passed away

John Devoy gave credit to all who took part. He said “I’ve always thought that running was an utterly miserable sport to participate in but running the Chester Half Marathon has made me realise that, notwithstanding the vast majority of the 7000 plus runners looking like they agreed with me, they were still prepared to put themselves through it to raise much needed money for good causes.

“All credit to every last one of them, but especially to Aarunners who convinced me to run my first Half. It may not even be my last!”

Beat

Mark and Francesca Walsh

Mark Walsh and daughter Francesca from Saughall ran for the charity Beat.

Mark said: "We are raising funds for Beat, a wonderful charity which helps individuals and families living with the nightmare of an eating disorder. This is something we understand only too well and it is our privilege to help. These are very serious illnesses, but thankfully our story has a very happy ending."

The pair have so far raised £2191, if you would like to support them you can do so by visiting their Virgin Money Just Giving page: virginmoneygiving.com

Related story: Chester Half Marathon helps dance teacher on road to anorexia recovery

Home Start

The team from Cheshire-based pub company 16 Hospitality ran the Chester Half Marathon for their chosen charity Home Start
The team from Cheshire-based pub company 16 Hospitality

A dedicated team of runners from Cheshire-based pub company, 16 Hospitality, ran for their chosen charity Home Start, to support families in Central and West Cheshire who are reaching breaking point because of isolation, bereavement, illness, poverty and other challenging issues.

The team of 12 from four sites in Cheshire and Anglesey, including The Swan in Tarporley and The Crown in Goostrey, have already raised £5,000.

Related story: Chester Half Marathon 2016 is declared a tremendous success

Boughton man John Blake also ran the Chester Half Marathon for Alder Hey Hospital after his daughter Nina received treatment there as a baby.

Boughton man John Blake with daughter Nina after running the Chester Half Marathon for Alder Hey Hospital
Boughton man John Blake with daughter Nina after running the Chester Half Marathon for Alder Hey Hospital

He said: "When we had the 20 week scan it was discovered that Nina’s kidneys were dilated, if left untreated the likely result would have been kidney damage.

At three months old Nina was referred to Alder Hey, Nina needed two operations, the first at age six months and then again at 18 months.

“I can not speak highly enough of the care Nina has received. Nina is six now and has annual ultra sound checks at Alder Hey, her last scan in December 2015 showed things were continuing to improve."

“I have always struggled to know how to show my appreciation to Alder Hey, ‘thank you’ doesn’t seem a big enough word."

“Last May whilst watching the Chester Half Marathon I decided this was something I could do to raise money, so far I have raised £1,750 for the Alder Hey Charity”

To support John visit www.justgiving.com/j-blake

Mothers Union

Lindsay Clare Graham, 36, completed the 13.2 mile race to raise money for the Chester Diocese Mothers Union in a 1 hour 58 minutes as her mother Diana Waller is a trustee.

Lindsay raised over £240 for the charity.

The Mothers Union (which is now open to men and women) is a worldwide charity which celebrates its 140th anniversary this year. The charity has more than 4 million members all sharing a commitment to support and sustain family life both practically and via campaigning.

Fundraising and marketing coordinator for the Chester Diocese Mothers Union Gillian Edwards said: “We are delighted that Lindsay has undertaken this challenge in aid of the Mothers Union.

“In addition to much needed funds, we are delighted at the awareness being raised – many people don’t fully appreciate the great work undertaken by the Mothers Union and the support network that it provides for families and members.

Chester Half Marathon 2016. Lindsay Graham, 36 (right) with her mum Diana Waller
Lindsay Graham, 36 (right) with her mum Diana Waller

Myeloma UK and Alzheimer's Research UK

Employees of Northwich based Balluff Limited, a manufacturer of sensor technology for industrial automation, raised more than £1,500 for Myeloma UK and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

John Radford, Adrian Sorsby and Andrew Blears completed the 13.2 mile race across the city.

Managing director John Radfordsaid: “I wanted to raise awareness of myeloma and the good work being undertaken by Myeloma UK. Three months ago my brother was diagnosed with a form of myeloma. Sufferers of this type of cancer suffer pain, bone disease and fatigue. The disease is not well enough understood and too many people are in need of a cure, a solution and some help getting through it.”

Account manager Andrew Blears ran for Alzheimer’s Research UK. He said: “I am fundraising on behalf of Alzheimer’s Research as the work they do can help reduce the number of people affected by this heart-breaking condition in the future. My dad suffers from a form of dementia, so it’s something I’ve closely observed and experienced. If we can help anyone avoid these difficulties then it must be worthwhile putting in a bit of support.”

Chester Half Marathon 2016. John Radford, Adrian Sorsby and Andrew Blears from Northwich based Balluff Limited raised over £1500 for Myeloma UK and Alzheimer's Research UK
John Radford, Adrian Sorsby and Andrew Blears from Northwich based Balluff Limited

Water aid

The race is not all about the runners, however, and the number of volunteers involved in making sure that the event goes off without a hitch.

Staff and pupils from Blacon High School were on the sidelines at the first and sixth water station handing out sustenance for the runners.

Staff and pupils from Blacon High School who ran the 1st and 6th water station for the Chester Half Marathon
Staff and pupils from Blacon High School

Joint race organiser Chris Hulse said: “We’d like to give thanks to our title sponsor Essar, our associate sponsors, Lexus Chester, Capital FM, Redrow, Total Fitness, High 5 and Aftershokz and all the organisations and volunteers, not forgetting the householders on the route who came out to support the runners.

"All of these people have helped us to deliver a memorable and inspirational event for Chester. Our aim is to continue to develop the race as we strive to be recognised as the UK’s favourite regional half marathon.”

The expectation is that race runners will raise in excess of £500,000 for charitable causes, with Chester’s Babygrow Appeal being the main race charity for the 2016 event.