Throughout 2019 local teacher, Diane Crookes challenged herself to complete 12 races to raise money for us at St Andrew’s Hospice, and Andy’s our Children’s Unit.

The races were mostly in areas where Andy’s and St Andrew’s operate, though Diane’s dedication took her as far away as Essex for 2 of her 12 events.

The going wasn’t always smooth, and following her first race, a tough trail 10k in Essex she suffered a sprain to her leg:

“It was definitely tough! Full of wet, muddy paths and very difficult hills and I managed to sprain my left calf so badly I couldn’t walk on it when I finished. Disaster!”

The injury saw Diane in recovery for 2 months, which meant she had to manage to squeeze 2 races into some months.

The next event on the trail was the Wildlife 5k in Doncaster. This race was of particular interest to her class back at St Martin’s Prep School, who have been hugely supportive of Diane’s efforts:

 “I was able to engage the interest of my Year 2 class telling them about the animals I saw”

Next up was the Race for Life 10k in Cleethorpes in June, followed closely by the Hull 10k. Fellow teacher at St Martin’s Karl Gilchrist (the Year 3 teacher) joined Diane to take in the best of Hull’s scenery, which is very popular with participants and supporters alike, making the atmosphere electric.

After the Grimsthorpe Gallop 10k at Grimsthorpe Castle, July saw Diane return to The Sting in the Tail 10k at Caistor,

“I always love this event as it ends with this dreadful hill climb but you are rewarded with a lincolnshire sausage bun and a beer which always cheers me up! Karl also joined me on this one and we were delighted to see some children from school cheering us on!”

The next race was also heavily supported by children from St Martin’s, being the Grimsby 10k.

“This a wonderful race as the whole of Grimsby turns out to support everyone including children from our school.”

With 5 races still to run, September saw Diane take part in the Humber 5k in Cleethorpes followed by the Gruesome Twosome 10k in the middle of October.

“Karl and I ran this one together as a team for St Martin’s and really enjoyed the fellowship of fellow pairs and marshalls.

We also ran the Brigg Poppy 10k on 27th October together which was a meaningful event as the runners were all dressed in red for Poppy day. It included a military challenge, which saw soldiers from the forces running with all their equipment, an incredible sight.

In November Diane returned to Essex to run the Billericay 10k whilst visiting her mum and then the final race was The Great Sprout Scuttle 10k.

“I ran this with some friends from Grimsby and thoroughly enjoyed the wet, muddy route full of people dressed in fancy dress ready for the Christmas spirit. A superb ending to my Challenge 2019.”

“Some of the medals were absolutely fabulous and during the year I entered a competition for a “Notch” bracelet which I won and meant I now have a lovely momento of all 12 races to wear.”

We would like to extend the biggest of congratulations and thank yous to Diane, Karl and the whole of St Martin’s School for their support. We are super proud of your achievements and so grateful that you chose to support St Andrew’s Hospice throughout 2019.

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