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Frome’s Team PAC does the Bath Half

A TEAM of seven purple clad runners took part in the Bath Half on Sunday 2nd March and raised just over £2,330 for local charity Positive Action on Cancer.

On a cold wet and windy Sunday at 11.00am the seven local runners began their challenge around the streets of Bath. The half marathon covers a two lap 13.1 mile (21.1km) traffic-free course straddling both sides of the River Avon. It is a fast flat course, avoiding all the hills surrounding the city.

The team supporting PAC included Emily Denham, Jim Plunkett-Cole, Katie Parker, Kate Blacklidge, Kevin Withers, Lizzie Davies and Neil Spanswick, who had all been training hard to enable them to run the marathon.

Lizzie said, “A thought that always goes through my mind when I am running races is – this is nothing compared to what my lovely dad went through with his illness and he is my inspiration, always, to keep on going. We are so lucky to be fit and well and able to have a choice.  This was my 4th Bath Half, and not my worst by any means – my second best in fact!”

Kevin said, “It was my first half marathon and yes I would do it again and maybe it will lead on to bigger things like London…  however, I am only able to say this because my legs are just about back to normal! The biggest thing about the day was the people who had turned out in the rain to cheer us on. It is not until you reach the final couple of miles that you realise how important the crowd is as they pull you across the finish line. That would probably be my lasting memory.”

Neil said, “It was my first marathon too and I was determined to do it under two hours which apparently is a bit of a milestone and an achievement for a ‘first timer’. I did it!”

Katie said, “Still in recovery mode but nothing too horrid. As near death experiences go, it wasn’t too bad in the end! Fantastic support from the crowds and no queuing for the loos – all a girl could hope for… I had a hysterectomy in September and unable to start training until January. So, really delighted to have run the course in well under two hours 30 and to have raised some money for PAC.”

Jim said, “Following our fundraising last year for PAC – a cause I am deeply passionate about following my mum’s own sudden passing from cancer last year – well it was a real honour to once more don my PAC running vest for the 2014 Bath Half Marathon.

“The Bath Half is a tremendously important event, raising much for great causes, but also much fun and with a great atmosphere driving the participants onwards to the finish. Throughout the course, and whilst I was very much ‘in the zone’, the cheers from the crowd and music and drums, drive you onwards.  It’s actually quite an emotional experience. Racing in a PAC vest very much adds to that experience.

The Bath Half was my 426th consecutive ‘at least 10K a day run’ since 1st January 2013.  No day missed. Whilst I have stopped the fundraising for the moment, I fully intend to adopt PAC as the cause for any future fundraising I do.  (I intend to start fundraising for PAC again once / if I successfully breach the 500 mark for consecutive 10K running in May). PAC is a great cause, doing great work, and it will always be an honour for me to race in my PAC vest.”

Kelly Lewis, PAC fundraising assistant said, “The runners have trained so hard for this challenge, this is such a commitment of time on their part and we’d like to thank them for choosing to support PAC.”

The finishing times were: Emily Denham 2hr 19, Jim Plunkett-Cole 1hr 23, Katie Parker 2h24, Kate Blacklidge 1h55, Kevin Withers 2h14, Lizzie Davies 2h22 and Neil Spanswick1hr 55.

PAC is currently the only organisation to offer professional counselling to any adults or children affected or bereaved by cancer and other life threatening illnesses in BANES, Somerset and West Wilts. PAC receives no central government funding and depends on community fundraising, grant making trusts, the generosity of individual donors and their volunteer fundraisers.

If you would like further information about counselling, the work of the charity or fundraising please contact Karen Dufton, PAC’s office manager on 01373 455255 or email  info@positiveac