Rodger Baker took on the August Bank Holiday Canterbury Half Marathon in the first of six 13.1-mile challenges he plans to undertake to raise £1,000 for Pilgrims Hospices’ care. Over 600 runners took part in this much-loved annual event.
Rodger’s father-in-law, Maurice Collingwood, who was 73 and lived in Sturry, sadly passed away in January of this year after a battle with pancreatic cancer. During his final weeks Pilgrims Hospices supported his care, which enabled him to remain at home in surroundings that made him more comfortable and in the company of those who loved him.
Rodger said: “The Pilgrims team were amazing. They took care of Maurice’s needs and were present when he passed away. My wife, Rachel, and myself have drawn great comfort in the knowledge that everything possible was in place for him to live well until the end.”
Project Manager Rodger, who is 45 and lives in Paddock Wood, started to run a few years ago with a 5km challenge at his local gym. Since then he’s completed several half marathons and four full marathons.
Rodger added: “I wanted to do more than just thank Pilgrims Hospices for the care and support the charity offered Maurice and my family.
“I’m a keen runner and decided to challenge myself. I will be running six half marathons to raise funds to enable them to continue their work. The Canterbury run went really well and I’ve already raised more than £500 toward my target.”
The Pilgrims team were amazing. They took care of Maurice’s needs and were present when he passed away. My wife, Rachel, and myself have drawn great comfort in the knowledge that everything possible was in place for him to live well until the end.
Rodger follows a training programme to keep him on track with his half marathon schedule. He will take part in the Reading and London Landmarks half marathons in March and the Windsor, Cardiff and Maidstone half marathons on consecutive Sundays in September and October.
“My family are really pleased and fully supportive. It’s a great way to help out the people who helped us at a very difficult time.
“The Canterbury Half was a tough run, the hilliest I’ve ever done but I made it round in one piece”, Rodger added.
Robert Grew, Pilgrims Hospices Events Fundraiser, said: “We had almost 20 runners taking part in the Canterbury Half Marathon and raising vital funds for those suffering terminal illness. It’s a tough and challenging event but worth the commitment with such wonderful scenery and views across Kent. The weather was really quite congenial for running and many personal bests and targets were smashed on the day. It was great to meet Rodger in person and wish him well. He is so generous of his time, efforts and spirit; we thank him and wish him well as he undertakes a further five events.
We anticipate our runners will raise as much as £6,500 for Pilgrims Hospices’ care.”
If you’d like to support Rodger with his fundraising visit his JustGiving page.