Leap with Libbie at the Mad March Hare

Mad March Hare was Libbie’s first 10k

With less than 2 months to the 11th Mad March Hare which takes place on Sunday 25th March, Libbie Sheppard’s training is full steam ahead! Libbie, who came to running 2 years ago, had a very poignant trigger to put running shoes on for the first time.

“Two years ago, a young friend of mine died. A few of us had the job of clearing her house and there, in her wardrobe, was a pair of very smart almost new running shoes, which were my size! I thought that this was a little message to me, that I needed to take these shoes and do the running that she had wanted to do before she developed cancer”, says Libbie.

So, at the tender age of 68, Libbie joined a couch to 5k course at Swindon Shin Splints, in her ‘borrowed’ running shoes and was very quickly hooked!

Last year, the Mad March Hare was Libbie’s first 10k and she ran the whole course wearing bunny ears! She fitted in very well with the Mad March Hare whacky dress theme, which is something that helps to endear the event so much with such a wide audience. Whilst its aims are serious – to encourage people to get out and get active and at the same time, raising money for the Breast Cancer Now charity – the approach is very informal and fun! Turn up in running kit, comfy walking gear and/or fancy dress and you will fit in perfectly!

The Mad March Hare is a great first event as it welcomes people of all ages and abilities to get out and enjoy taking exercise. Now in its 11th year, it has raised over £100,000 for Breast Cancer Now and has become very well known in the Swindon community. There are 2 courses – 5 and 10k and they both start and finish at Lydiard Park Academy. Walkers, joggers and runners are all welcome. Families are encouraged to turn out and complete the course together and family canine pets are also welcome!

For Libbie, it was also a training stepping stone in her quest to complete a half marathon before she turned 70.

This, she achieved, last September! “I have now achieved my goal and am continuing while I feel fit and well and ‘mad as a march hare!’”.

To take part, either on the day, or in a virtual capacity, or to volunteer at the event please log on to https://www.madmarchhare.org.uk/, email at info@madmarchhare.org.uk or call 0845 6808064.

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Good Friends Prepare for the Mad March Hare

The countdown is on to the Mad March Hare which takes place on March 15th, 2015.

The fun walk/run/jog event over a 5 or 10k course in West Swindon welcomes people of all ages and abilities to get out and enjoy taking exercise. Individuals, families and groups of friends and work colleagues all turn out in great flamboyance to take part. Dogs are also welcome with well behaved owners!

Five friends, who are in training for their second year in the event, came together through their interest in getting fit through running. They met at the Coate Water based Swindon Shin Splints running group and soon became friends.

From different corners of the greater Swindon area and with an assorted number of miles individually clocked up, they like to enter a variety of events, from 5k fun runs to half marathons. 

Running has been a great source of enjoyment taken up at a bad time time in my life as a new hobby. It has brought new friendships, given me the opportunity to raise money for many good causes whilst also keeping fit and having fun.Cathy Burnside of Chiseldon
There is nothing like getting out and being active to make one feel good. We find that running is a very social activity and we have made lots of new friends since we started.Karol Richardson

The social aspect of exercise is echoed further by Fiona Brooking, who loves starting her weekend out running with her Shin Splints friends on a Saturday morning.

All agree that the Mad March Hare is special because it is fun and friendly with a great sense of community – a real family day out.

Lorraine Fleming, a family support worker from North Swindon plans to run the 5k route with her 8-year old son while her husband, Andrew, and 5 year-old daughter, Jessica will follow on, running and walking. What a start to Mothers’ Day!

I ran the route with James, then 7, last year and it sparked a real passion for running in him and he has since become the youngest member of his school’s running club and has run in other local events.

Paula Watkins was struck by the organisation and support with great volunteers serving much needed refreshments.

All five are ready to hop to the starting line, whatever the weather.

We had all the seasons in one day last year but it didn’t dampen the sense of fun.

The 8th Mad March Hare event will take place on Sunday 15th March 2015 with routes which will take walkers, joggers and runners around West Swindon and the popular Lydiard Park.

To take part or volunteer at the event please go to www.madmarchhare.org.uk, email at info@madmarchhare.org.uk or call 0845 6808064.

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Swindon Advertiser – Race to raise cancer cash

“THE COUNTDOWN to one of the zaniest fundraising races in Swindon’s charity calendar has officially begun.

An incredible 150 people hopped over to the Swindon Town Football Club on Wednesday to kick off fundraising for the Mad March Hare 2014 at a fun quiz.

More than £1,100 was collected at the event, which saw 22 teams send their brain cells into overdrive to take their group to victory.

The Mad March Hare, which is held in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer Wiltshire, launched in 2008.

SA-Launch-Picture It was a bumper year this year with more than 600 joggers, runners and walkers setting off on the 5km and 10km routes, which start and finish at Lydiard Park Academy, in Grange Park. Organisers are hoping to surpass last year’s £13,772 grand total and attract even more challengers next March.

“We are upping the ante next year,” said Kathy Doyle, a member of the organising team.

“We have had some additional fundraising ideas. “It’s all for such a great cause and we are trying to go from strength to strength.

“The quiz night was our first event and it was just brilliant. We had a raffle and some games. It was a great start.”

The mad dash will return on Sunday, March 23 and promises to be as popular as ever.

“There is something in it for everyone,” Kathy said. “You can walk it, jog it or run it. It’s a fun event for the family and a very unique community event.

“I’m hoping even more people join this year.”

Now in its seventh year, the fun run has collected £60,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer Wiltshire.

The 5km or 10km routes will take participants around a circular route in West Swindon and Lydiard Park.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to stopping women dying from breast cancer.

To sign or volunteer at the event go on www.madmarchhare.org.uk, email info@madmarchhare.org.uk or call 0845 6808064.

For more information about Breakthrough Breast Cancer visit www.breakthrough.org.uk.”

‘Race to raise cancer cash’, Swindon Advertiser, [online] Available from: http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10811186.Race_to_raise_cancer_cash/

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Press Release: England Athletics The Run England Project in Swindon

Following the success of the 2012 Olympics, our legacy at Run England is to encourage opportunities for people in Swindon to start running and to help them to make changes to their lifestyle through exercise no matter what their fitness levels are.

After being inspired by the Olympics, three ladies are attempting to do just that by joining the Slinn Allstars Beginner Run Sessions in January this year.

Amy Sarah and Pauline want to make a real difference to their health and fitness by training for the running event, The Mad March Hare which is in Swindon on March 24th 2014 will be where they celebrate becoming fitter and healthier by taking part along with hundreds of others and raising money for charity at the same time.

All three have different reasons for wanting to run

Pauline says
In December 2011, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and, because treatment left me weak and tired, I have decided that my main priority is to continue to improve my fitness. Everyone I have met at the club has been very friendly and are a huge inspiration.

Now in week three of the training plan they are beginning to feel what a difference taking regular exercise can make.

Amy told us
‘Building up to the first week, I felt very nervous, and anxious. But once I arrived and starting speaking to other new members, it was calming to realise everyone felt the same. I found week one hard, as I hadn’t done any exercise in a while, but the feeling after you complete the first week was amazing’
Sarah wants to have as much energy as her young daughter and to be a great example with her own lifestyle.
By running together and with the help of Run England Group, The Slinn Allstars, they will help each other to follow the training sessions, keep going when it feels tough and gain the confidence to know that they will feel amazing as they get closer to their goal.

Over the coming weeks Sarah, Amy and Pauline will run with the Slinn Allstars in preparation for the 5k event where we look forward to cheering them at the finish.

Swindon Borough Council, who work in partnership with the Run England Project, ensures there are lots of ways that people can enjoy having an active and healthy lifestyle in Swindon.

If you want the chance to start running with a local group in Swindon and Wiltshire and make a difference to your health and lifestyle then go to the website
http://www.runengland.org/ or contact ssims@englandathletics.org for more information.

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Great reports from the frozen Mad March Hare event!!!

Fantastic event, even though it was cold enough to freeze your blood! We’ve had some great reports and event a short YouTube video. See the links below for the articles and video.

From Sport Swindon – click here

From the Swindon Advertiser – click here

For the YouTube video, thanks to Shaun Perrett, click here

From the LINK – click here

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