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  • Writer's pictureSonya Cary

Golden Valley Girls Taking on Cheltenham Half!

In 2019 the Golden Valley Fitness Centre in conjunction with Sport England set up a ladies running club hosted by our coach Caz Jellard. This was quite a mission to set up from the start which included getting grants from Sport England, putting Caz through her coaching course and then getting as many girls involved as possible. Luckily for us we had a great group of girls who all jumped at the opportunity and we soon had a team of 10 or so attending regular running sessions.

Unfortunately at a similar time to this, Emma, Eddie, Stan and Frank started their cancer journey. One of our members from the running club (Christine Williams) knew of Franks family through her God son Otto, who had met Frank through The Courtyard youth theatre and they became great friends.

Franks cancer journey was a particularly difficult one. Over two years of operations, chemotherapy and hospital appointments as a 13 year old boy is clearly very hard but not just for him for his family and friends too. However, throughout this time Frank was simply amazing, always cracking jokes and having fun. His friends and family try to take a little of this forward in his honour and really try to seize the day, be braver. Be kinder. Be More Frank.

As a group the girls decided to push themselves and take on a couch to 5k challenge as a fundraiser for this charity. However when COVID struck they were forced to rearrange their plans.

Fortunately with a 'BeMoreFrank' attitude all of them continued their running endeavours through lockdown and when they came out the other side they decided a 5km simply wasn't tough enough to represent this tough young man!

They therefore signed up for the Cheltenham half marathon on Sunday 4th September! As a group of ladies who are essentially going from no running, to managing over 13 miles, this task is something they are all quite daunted by but determined, like frank, to fight through and make it to the end.

Christine Williams added "So for those that have seen me pounding the roads, waving then slowing down to see if it really is me running and not broken down or being chased, now you know why! If you can support in anyway we are so appreciative. Even a beep and a wave as you see us ladies pounding the pavement makes all the difference!"

If you would like to donate to this cause you can do so using the link below;

Completing this challenge is Christine williams, Caz Jellard, Lucy Williams, Claire Sage, Tina Pritchard, Carrie Symonds and Andrea Rolph.

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