With less than two weeks to go until this year’s Northampton Half Marathon, excitement, nerves and anticipation are building among the runners taking part.
But the good causes they’re doing the race for are firmly in the back of their minds, egging them on to do well and raise as much money as they can.
The Northamptonshire Health Charity have 18 runners, eight of whom are employees.
Rob Powell, their Charity Fundraiser, is among them as part of ‘Team Theo’.
They are fundraising in memory of Theo Crussell for the neonatal ward at Northampton General Hospital, where he sadly passed away minutes before he was born in 2015.
His parents, Rob and Kate, have raised around £67,000 since then, £25,000 of which was donated to the neonatal ward.
“Fundraising has definitely been more difficult during the pandemic, but everyone’s doing really well and we’re really looking forward to it,” said Rob.
“It means so much to me that people are donating to our team’s fundraiser and to be able to support the charity I work for.”
The money raised by Rob and Kate over the last six years has funded a critical unit at the neonatal ward at the Northampton General Hospital, which helps to cool the temperature of a baby’s head to reduce further brain damage after birth.
“Specialist equipment can make a massive difference to babies who have experienced hypoxic incidents at birth,” said Rob.
They also funded a cuddle cot for the snowdrop room for parents who have lost their babies. It cools the baby’s body down so they can spend as much precious time with the baby after they’ve passed.
Rob said: “It’s an incredibly sad time but it makes such a difference for families to be able to do that – so it really means a lot when people donate to me and the team I’m running with.”
The Lewis Foundation, who source, package and deliver free gifts and packs to adult Cancer patients in hospital, also have two runners taking part and they can’t wait to see them cross the line.
Darren Adams and Leanne Norris, both running in memory of family and friends they’ve lost to Cancer, wanted to give back after seeing the great work of The Lewis Foundation.
So far, fundraising is going ‘really well’ and between them they’ve raised over £600 – enough to cover nearly two of their £360 care packs.
Lorraine Lewis, Co-founder and CEO of the foundation, said: “The money will go really far to help make a difference.
“People wanting to give back makes everything we do worth it.
“It keeps the kindness cycle going. It’s amazing to be in a community where people actually want to do that, which makes us proud.
“Things like this make us realise we're making a difference and helping support people during a difficult time.”
Both charities have a stand at the end of the route, where they’ll eagerly be waiting for all the runners to cross the line.
The half marathon begins at 9.30am on Sunday, 26 September, starting at the Guildhall and finishing on the grounds of Delapre Abbey.