Determined Runners Complete Half Marathons for Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Supporters of our charity who were due to run the Bath Half Marathon decided instead to run the distance on treadmills or outside in their neighbourhoods.

The Bath Half Marathon was due to be held yesterday (Sunday 4th March) but was cancelled due to the wintry conditions.

Undeterred, a number of the runners were determined to run the half marathon distance of 13.1 miles and did so yesterday.

The Bath Half was to be the first half marathon for Rebekah and Ian Pugh, of Faringdon, Oxfordshire. They wanted to run it for Wiltshire Air Ambulance after their four-week-old son Josiah was treated by our paramedics when he stopped breathing while they were on a family day out at Avebury in April 2016. Josiah, who is nearly two, made a full recovery.

The couple instead ran 13.1 miles on treadmills at Faringdon Leisure Centre, donated for free by the centre. Rebekah completed it in 3:08 and Ian’s time was 2:33.

Rebekah, 34, said: “Apart from having a gait analysis done on a treadmill this was my treadmill debut and I completed the half marathon a lotquicker than I thought I would. We are both really pleased we did it, it was worth every kilometre for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.”

Also completing the distance on treadmills were Richard Phillips, 56, of Chippenham, and his daughters Natasha, 28, of Melksham, Alyesha, 26, of Bristol, and Lauren, 22, of Chippenham. They ran it at Atlas Gyms in Chippenham, who donated the treadmills for free.

Richard, who is the sales director of Novacast Limited in Melksham, said: “Me and Alyesha have run the Bath Half before but it would have been the first time for Natasha and Lauren. When we heard the Bath Half had been cancelled it was Alyesha’s idea to run it on treadmills. We ran at the same pace and we finished it together in 2:44. We enjoyed it immensely and we were elated to complete it and raise funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.”

The Bath Half Marathon was also due to have been the first half marathon for Martin Page, 50, of Old Walcot, Swindon. Instead, he ran the distance on his training route on the streets and pavements of Swindon completing it in 2:22.

Martin Page, Technical Director at Torin-Sifan Ltd. in Swindon, said: “People had sponsored me to run the Bath Half and just because it was cancelled I felt I owed it to them to run a half marathon. It was a hard run as there was snow and slush on the ground. It was more like trail running in places, but I really enjoyed it.”

More than 40 runners were due to run the Bath Half Marathon for us and the we will be offering them places to run in the Swindon Half Marathon on 9th September 2018 or the Devizes Half Marathon on 8th April 2018.

Kenresa Stratford, Fundraising & Events coordinator at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “While we were disappointed on behalf of our runners that the Bath Half Marathon was cancelled, we completely agreed with the decision as the safety of everyone attending was paramount.

“As an alternative, we are offering our runners places in the Swindon Half Marathon or the Devizes Half Marathon this year. To our surprise a number of our runners decided to run a half marathon yesterday (Sunday 4th March) either on treadmills or out on the streets.  

“Their commitment and determination is inspiring and we’d like to thank them for their outstanding efforts. The funds they have raised will help to keep our helicopter and crew flying and saving lives.”

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