Children at Baileys Court Primary School were joined by marathon runner and local mum of two, Sharon Hicks, on Friday 18th March; together they held a sponsored running event which raised money for Sport Relief and MS-UK. A few weeks earlier, Sharon had presented a special assembly in the school where she showed children a video of the London Marathon, which she will be running on 24th April in support of MS-UK. Sharon has pledged to raise £2,000 for her chosen charity, and the school joined in the fundraising to collect over £5,000 for Sport Relief.
Baileys Court Primary School started their Sport Relief event with the arrival of an inflatable ‘start/finish’ gantry which was provided by Great Western Runners and decorative flags from Relish Runners. Sharon and the school were joined by Alan Wilcox, or “Alan the Dog”, who acted as lead runner and was assisted by Bob Turner.
The mission of the day was for the school year groups to cumulatively cover the distance of a marathon. Each year group, including teachers and classroom assistants, took turns to run laps of the school playing field and playground. These distances were added together at the end of the day. Their total distance was equivalent to 6.2 marathons, which surpassed their mission by far! The children who took part were presented with medals the following week, and those who raised more than £100 were given special trophies. Sharon said: “It was a real pleasure to see their faces as they were awarded their prizes, bringing a fantastic closure to a brilliant fun day.”
Sharon’s passion for running began in her twenties, before which she says she “avoided exercise”. The first running club she joined was in Saltash and at this time she did the Plymouth Half Marathon. After moving to Bradley Stoke, with the demands of work and family life, she gave up running for a while, until a friend suggested the Little Stoke parkrun. She says that although she “came in last” she was “bitten by the running bug again”. Sharon joined the North Bristol Running Group and last year completed the Bristol Half Marathon, Cardiff Half Marathon and several other races. She thought it was time to apply for the ultimate – the London Marathon.
At first, Sharon was unsuccessful in the ballot, but she was later contacted by MS-UK who offered her a gold bond place. Sharon says she applied for a place with this charity because her brother-in-law has the condition and she has “seen how the silent progression of the disease affects quality of life.” She added that she will be “proud to wear the charity’s colours on 24th April.”
Sharon is now dedicated to training and has done 22 miles, which is the longest recommended training distance. She recently completed The Fission 20:20, a 20 mile race around Berkeley in 3 hours 14 minutes. Her fundraising efforts are also underway as she has raised around half of her £2,000 target. She has raised the amount through events such as a raffle at the North Bristol Running Group, and an evening dressed as an elf with the local Santa Sleigh at the Willow Brook Centre. Much of her funding has come from the support of her running group, friends and family, and she is hoping for continued support from the local area to reach her target. More about Sharon’s fundraising and marathon details can be found on her Just Giving page at www.virginmoneygiving.com/RunSharonHicks
More photos on the Bradley Stoke Journal’s Facebook page.
This article originally appeared in the April 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
Postscript (13th April): The total raised by the school was £5,304, to be split equally between Sport Relief and MS-UK. Sharon’s fundraising total now stands at £4,010.
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