Dorothy House Hospice Care is on course to beat last year’s fundraising total after 180 people ran on behalf of the hospice in the Vitality Bath Half Marathon on 12 March.

This is the largest number of runners that the charity has ever had in its 40 year history. With Silver Bond runners pledging to raise £200 or more for the hospice, it is on track to exceed 2016’s fundraising total of £54,000.

Team Dotty, as the runners are known, were waved off by Dorothy House’s sporting ambassador, Jo Muir, an international modern pentathlete and GB squad member who is working towards selection for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Dorothy House offers end of life and palliative care to patients and support for their families in Bath, parts of Somerset and Wiltshire. Corporate teams running for Team Dotty included Royds Withy King, Curo and Avon Autos among others.

30-year-old Bath resident Lydia Storr-Medding ran the Bath Half for Dorothy House in memory of her mother after the outstanding palliative care she received whilst ill with cancer. For over 10 months Lydia’s mother received invaluable support and help from Dorothy House, whose nurses visited her at home, at times on a daily basis. It was a huge comfort knowing that the hospice nurses would be back again the following day for both Lydia as a carer and her mother as a patient. Lydia’s mum sadly lost her fight against cancer in August 2016.

Lydia said: “I wanted to repay Dorothy House in any way I could as the comfort and support given to my family was so gratefully received. Sunday’s run was tough but the fantastic Team Dotty supporters in the crowd really helped spur me on as did the sponsorship I’d raised.”

Also running for Dorothy House was Chris Eames, whose aunty Louise McDermott spent her last few days at the hospice before she died of cancer almost four years ago. Since 2012, Chris has raised a staggering £21,500 for Dorothy House in her memory. As well as taking part in the Bath Half on Sunday, Chris rowed a half marathon distance on his rowing machine at Crossfit Bath the day before the big race day. In 2013 christ rowed six full marathons in six consecutive days which raised £10,500.

Chris said: “The team at Dorothy House are amazing and inspiring people and are doing vital work for the community in caring for people like my aunty Louise at the end of their lives. This challenge was a small contribution from me to give something back for all the support the Hospice gave to my family at a difficult time.”

Emily Knight, events fundraiser at Dorothy House, said: “We’d like to thank Lydia for her great run and fundraising achievement on Sunday and for sharing her mum’s experience of Dorothy House. We’re delighted the Vitality Bath Half Marathon was such a success, there was an amazing atmosphere and we’re so proud of all our ‘Team Dotty’ runners, the vital funds they’ve raised will help us provide care when it matters most.”

Visit: dorothyhouse.org.uk

Image: Colin Rayner Photography