Ed works as Marketing Campaign Manager for QA Apprenticeships in Slough. On 2nd March 2014 he ran the Reading Half Marathon for Sue Ryder. This is his story.
Running for Dad
I ran the Reading Half Marathon for everyone that Sue Ryder Nettlebed hospice cares for and will continue to care for in future. I was inspired by the work Sue Ryder did for my Dad, Robert Cuffe-Adams. He died at 56, when I was 18, and also lived in Twyford with me and my Mum.
Dad had a chordoma tumour, the implications of which were paralysis from the waist down, and other complications with his metabolism, circulation and of course the restrictions it put on his formerly very active lifestyle. His illness ran for 13 years, nine of which he spent in a wheelchair. He spent two periods at Sue Ryder Nettlebed, one very close to the end of his life.
He was a lawyer working for the Metropolitan police. Despite being in a wheelchair in the '90s, a long time ago in terms of disabled facilities; Dad still commuted into New Scotland Yard from Twyford several times a week. He rerouted trains to get there and is I think responsible for many of the drop kerbs and disabled parking bays at Twyford station now!
He was a terrifically inspiring character and saw it as his responsibility to be a voice for a vulnerable part of the community. Sue Ryder were able to give support to him, and the rest of the family at a very difficult time and it still means such a lot that they could give us that extra support at the point we were preparing to say goodbye to him. So, I wanted to make the most of this opportunity to help Sue Ryder to continue this fine work.
The Reading Half Marathon
It just made perfect sense - I'd often thought of running the race having grown up local to Reading and having worked as a steward at the Madjeski Stadium. It looked like a really exciting finish to a race. A couple of friends mentioned that they fancied it and as I do a bit of running I thought I would take a look. When I discovered that Sue Ryder was one of the main charities associated with the race I took it as the sign that I should go for it. It was my first race and I remember being nervous!
The event was really exhilarating. I managed my target time of 1 hour 45 minutes which I'm really pleased about. The support from all of the crowds that came down gave me a great lift particularly around mile 10 which was so tough. The finish line and final 100 metres through the stadium made it all worthwhile. I will be carrying on my running and have already booked a 10km run in Bristol in May. I hope in a year or two to make the step up to the full marathon!