Rainbows colleagues take on Great North Run

For Helen Lee-Smith, Head of Individual Giving at our hospice, running has never been her forte. 

But despite never enjoying exercise and hating long distance running, Helen has still challenged herself to take on the Simplyhealth Great North Run for us. 

“I have never liked long distance running – even as a child at school I was a sprinter and was always looking for the short cuts on the cross country runs,” said Helen. “My husband, Nick, took up running a few years ago after giving up a 20-year smoking habit. I have accompanied him to runs, including Great North Run several times, cheering him over the line. In my opinion the atmosphere at the finish line is something you don’t experience anywhere else – not even the London Marathon. It really is electric.

“I have seen women older than me crossing the finish lines at races with huge grins on their faces. As a fundraiser, I have spoken to many runners over the years whose stories have inspired me to think I could do this. I should do this.

“Last year when I said I was thinking about running the Great North Run, my sons laughed at me. It was then I knew I had to do it to prove to them that mums run too. I completed my first ever 10K in Leicester Abbey Park a few weeks ago. My training is going well. It is hard work. It hurts a little less now than it did when I started and I have toned up some of my wobbly bits too! I feel better for it mentally and physically. And most importantly, my boys aren’t laughing anymore.”

Billed as one of the most iconic half marathons in the world, we have guaranteed places for the event on Sunday 8 September. By signing up to run on behalf of our charity, sponsorship will be helping to support babies, children and young people with life-limited illnesses and their families. 
Helen will be joined by her colleague Emily Wright, who is also taking on her first half marathon. Corporate Fundraiser Emily said: “I’m so excited to be running for Rainbows in the Great North Run this year, and to have the opportunity to raise money for such an amazing cause. I’m really looking forward to taking on the challenge and, hopefully, making everybody at the hospice proud. 

“Since I joined Rainbows a year and a half ago, I’ve been blown away by the dedication not just of the clinical and fundraising teams, but also of our incredible supporters across the East Midlands, who have inspired me to take on a challenge and raise some money myself. The training is hard, but I’m absolutely determined to cross the finish line on the day, and to play my part in supporting this wonderful organisation.”

Between them, the colleagues hope to raise £2,500.

To snap up one of the final few places, visit rainbows.co.uk/gnr2019 or contact Neil Swift on 01509 638 005 or [email protected]