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Well done, Ashridge runners! With a bit of help from Superman, you raised £20,000!

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Hundreds of runners took part in the Ashridge Trail Half Marathon to raise money on Sunday – including Superman.

The 13-mile off-road sponsored event for Tring and St Albans-based Rennie Grove Hospice Care was held for the first time last year and this year attracted 300 runners.

It began and finished outside of Ashridge House and took runners through the ancient woodland surrounding it.

Rob Havlin of Hemel Hempstead, 42, ran dressed as superman.

He said: “It is my first time running this one and I have only recently taken up running. I thought doing it as superman might encourage other people to do something and to support me.”

Rob decided to support Rennie Grove Hospice Care after as he works in the medical industry and his wife suffered a cancer scare three years ago.

The father-of-three, who completed the course in three hours and four minutes, said: “It was definitely more difficult than I was expecting it to be.

“I was OK until eight miles and then my knee was hurting. The support has been great though; people have been shouting encouragement which really kept me going.

“I would recommend it to everyone; it is one thing to tick off the list of things to do in your life.”

Jamie Marlow, 33, of Hemel Hempstead, was the first across the finish line with an impressive time of one hour and 29 minutes.

He said: “It was a tough course and a great race. Rennie Grove Hospice Care is my chosen charity to support and this was a really great event.”

Becca Hayden, 24, of Welwyn Garden City, was the first woman to cross the line with a time of one hour and 40 minutes. She said: “I have never done a half marathon before so I am really delighted to have won today. It was a really good course and I enjoyed it.”

Becca was running with her mum Ann, 53, who was completing her first half marathon. She said: “I can’t believe Becca won for the women, I am so proud. What a beautiful course, it was lovely, but pretty tough.”

Dani Cox, 23, of Tring, completed the half marathon a week after she took part in a skydive for the Rennie Grove.

She said: “It was very hilly, but I did enjoy it. Next I plan to do the Chilterns Three Peaks Challenge for Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

“I want to do as many things as I can to raise funds. The charity helped my great uncle who died this year and also my grandma who died ten years ago.”

Ashridge runner Richard Lambert, 48, of Tring, also ran the London Marathon for Rennie Grove Hospice Care. He said: “It was difficult, but a great challenge.”

Richard decided to support the charity after his mother in law was looked after by Rennie Grove nurses in 2009.

He said: “I just keep coming back and doing different things to raise money.”

Vivienne Hoang, 24, of Tring, has raised £370 in sponsorship. She said: “It was my first half marathon and it was very difficult, but I enjoyed it.”

Claire Cooke, 38, of Hemel Hempstead - mum to Ben, seven, and Daniel, four - said: “I wanted to run for the charity as I know people who have been helped by Rennie Grove. I have completed a few half marathons; this was a good course, difficult, but good.”

Hayley Rhodes, 31, of Harpenden, ran while 4.5 months pregnant. She said: “It was fine, though my back was aching a bit.

“We walk in Ashridge at weekends and saw the half marathon was going to be here, so thought we would give it a go.”

Senior events fundraiser at Rennie Grove Hospice Care Gemma Martin said: “We would like to thank everyone who took part and all the family members who came along to support them.

“They definitely helped make a great atmosphere in key spots along the way and at the finish line.

“The runners seemed to appreciate the wonderful scenery, although there’s no doubt that the route was a challenge in places!

“A big thank you also goes to our wonderful volunteer marshals without whom the event could not run.

“We’d also like to thank Tring Running Club for signing the route for us and for back-marking the runners on the day. Their help was really valuable and is very much appreciated.”

Rennie Grove hopes that it will raise in the region of £20,000 from the event, which is part of a programme of events held to help Rennie Grove Hospice Care raise the £6.5m it needs every year to fund its 24/7 responsive nursing service and other specialist services for local patients with cancer and other life-limiting illness along with support for their families.

 

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