A father and son duo have been taking part in the Foyle Hospice’s Male Walk/Run and Junior Boys’ Mini Marathon for six years.
And the event has now become an annual challenge for the Doherty family with Tom Doherty and his son, 12 year-old Shay, taking part - with Tom running the five mile run and Shay running the mini marathon.
Tom is also a veteran member of the Foyle Hospice London Marathon Team after he started running to help him quit smoking.
He explained: “Running has changed my way of life, I started running eight years ago when I was a smoker and I was a bit stressed out. Running helped me quit smoking and it helps me manage my stress levels. Not only has it changed my life but it has changed the whole family’s way of life.
“My wife Denise has also taken up running and has been running the London Marathon for the last three years.”
Tom’s advice to anyone who is thinking about doing the walk for the first time is simple: “Do it, it can start something rolling and really change your life.”
So if you are thinking of a new health regime but need that extra push to get you motivated why not start training today. With five weeks until the event there is plenty of time to start a gentle exercise programme that will enable you to walk the five miles.
Director of Nursing at the Foyle Hospice, Yvonne Martin said: “Tom is testimony to the health benefits of regular exercise. The majority of participants walk the event; it is about getting out there and having a bit of fun and raising funds for the Foyle Hospice.
“By registering you can help the charity reach their target of 1,000 participants for this year’s event.
“All funds raised through this event play a huge part in funding the essential care and support we provide, totally free of charge, to people affected by cancer and other life limiting illnesses across the North West.”
She continued: “No amount is too small, the funds generated from your commitment to this event could help us to pay for new patient beds which cost around £5,000 each or a pressure relieving cushion at £350.”
If you are interested in taking part, registration could not be easier. For previous participants you will be receiving your Registration Pack in the post over the next few days. If this is your first time simply contact the Fundraising Centre by phoning (028) 71 359 888 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can download the Registration Form from the new Foyle Hospice website - www.foylehospice.com.