Why run for charity? – Four people share their reasons

If you are struggling to decide whether or not to take on the challenge of a long distance running event keep reading because in this post four people share their thoughts on why supporting a charity is the best way to do it.

For some running is their favourite pastime, they enjoy every moment and they make it look so easy but for others it can be a real challenge.  Some aren’t natural runners (yep that’s me) and have to work really hard to stay motivated, always need a training partner otherwise they’ll find an excuse not to do it at all.  I’m one of those who always needed a training partner and before my diagnosis I did do a 10k which I really enjoyed.

For over 35 years Bloodwise has been supported by a team of celebrity runners sponsored by the TV Times and this dedicated team has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years.   This team includes Matt Kennard;  Actor, Director and Producer who has appeared in Waterloo Road, Hollyoaks, Emmerdale & Casualty, (below are some pics of Matt with other members of the TV Times Team)

I asked Matt about his reasons for being part of the TV Times running team;

“I started running with the team about ten years ago after being introduced to them by a friend.  I’d had a couple of personal brushes with cancer in the past, like most people, but when I found out some of the stories behind the team, the people involved in establishing and running the team, I was well and truly in.  I’m not actually a big fan of running and I mostly do it to stay fit but, my major motivation for turning up for the big runs throughout the year, be it the Marathon, Great North Run, Great South Run, Manchester half marathon is the charity.  To run in the vest and even do a tiny bit to raise awareness and/or money is a really fulfilling thing to do.  It also gives me that extra boost when I’m knackered at mile 10 and feeling particularly sorry for myself, that there are too many people suffering, who would love to be in my position, knackered at mile 10, but have much bigger battles to fight.  It’s overwhelming running around those courses and seeing all the different colours and names (individual and charities) people are running for and raising funds and awareness for. Long may it continue.”  Matt Kennard

Matt has also Directed Hymn of Hate…  (I’ve popped the link below if you want to take a look at his great work);

hymn of hate review pic matt kennard

Link to trailer for Hymn of Hate


george rainsford bloodwise casualty

Here, George Rainsford (above) currently playing Ethan in Casualty shares his reasons for running along with some great training tips  George Rainsford – Bloodwise.org.uk


Amongst the mass of runners taking part in the Great North Run in 2018 were three of my friends;

Husband and wife team Chris and Gemma Taylor…

great north run bloodwise 2018 16
Before the 2018 Great North Run

Gemma’s words

“I found the training hard at times, especially as my training partner picked up an injury to had to pull out, I always prefer having someone running with me for moral support.  Chris and I loved the atmosphere, it was amazing and I couldn’t have got through it without the cheers and support from the brilliant crowd.

I was doing ok until mile 8 when I got a stitch and my knees started to hurt, by mile 11 I felt like giving up because of the pain.  If I wasn’t running for Bloodwise I may have given up but all I could think about was how much money people had donated, that this money would make a difference to someone and that kept me going.  The last mile was very emotional, I was tired, relieved it was all over and extremely proud of what I’d achieved, knowing that someone would benefit.”

great north run bloodwise 2018 5 - Copy
Gemma during the Great North Run when she spotted the Bloodwise cheer team

Chris’ words

“I really enjoyed the running and I’d never known such a generous crowd.  This was a great moment in time to remember my Grandad whilst running, which is my hobby, raising awareness and money for Bloodwise.

This challenge pales into insignificance to the ones of those who are living with and fighting cancer.  We all know that cancer doesn’t discriminate by age and it is unlikely that there are any of us who haven’t been affected by cancer, had to helplessly watch a family member or friend face the uncertain fight.

For me Bloodwise is very personal because as a youngster my first experience of cancer was watching my Grandad, before being able to enjoy retirement, having to battle Leukaemia.  It was with great sadness that he didn’t make it so I took on the Great North Run in his name.”

Great North run bloodwise why run for charity

Thank you so much to all who have sponsored us and Bloodwise at this event, we are blown away by the generosity.  Thank you again, Chris and Gemma”

Chris and Gemma raised a fantastic £659


Another friend Trudy who has done many charity events also shared her thoughts;

Trudy Roberts Great North run
Trudy at the Great North Run 2018

“When I have done any races for charity my choices have been because they are causes I have some affinity with.  In the past I ran the Great North Run for the Prince’s Trust as I worked for them previously and knew first hand the difference the money made to lives.  This year I ran it for Children with Cancer because when I had visited their tent previously there were families there who were the recipients of their support, the volunteers were all so lovely and clearly loved their role in supporting families.  Throughout the training they stayed in touch letting me know what a massive difference we were making.  Motivation for me is making a difference to someone.

Choosing a charity that doesn’t cream off a huge percentage to cover their own costs and seeing and hearing about people who have benefited makes such a difference.” Trudy


Others have said that doing an event like this for charity makes the event more meaningful and through the tough training and moments of pain during the event it is at the back of their mind reminding them of how valuable the money they are raising is.

I am always extremely grateful to everyone who supports Bloodwise because I am directly affected and I know how much of a difference the money makes.  If it wasn’t for those in the past taking on these challenges to raise money the charity wouldn’t have been able to carry out the research and trials and I wouldn’t be alive today… simple.

Me and my family before a fundraising event in London

Quotes from runners who’ve used the fight of others to keep them going;

“I’m running the Manchester half marathon for Bloodwise this Sunday and when I’m feeling like crying & hating life (usually about mile 10) I’ll be sure to think of your long bold fight”

“It was so hot, I was actually thinking of you as early as mile 3 and what a wimp I was being consider what you have had to endure”

If you are wondering if it’s worth fundraising for Bloodwise or what they do with the money raised here’s my blog on just some of the amazing research they are funding; Research at Bloodwise – using existing drugs to treat blood cancers

Along side the fundraising there is always the awareness, which is just as vital, goes hand in hand with this and for me is as important because it shines a light on a specific cause or disease leading to greater awareness of it.  In my case and that of many patients early diagnosis can be the difference between surviving or not… Bloodwise Ambassador

Why run for Bloodwise?

  • Get your hands on a free high-spec Bloodwise running top
  • Professional training plans and tips
  • Fundraising support from Bloodwise team members
  • Motivational support from our cheer squads situated along the route
  • Support from other runners in Bloodwise online groups
  • Post event hospitality
  • Joining the Bloodwise Family
  • Thousands of extremely grateful people affected by blood cancer

Useful links Main Bloodwise Website 

Great North Run for Bloodwise via Bloodwise.org.uk

London Marathon for Bloodwise via Bloodwise.org.uk


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