A team of almost 40 friends from Radstock will take on the Half Marathon at the Great Bristol Run on 25 September, in support of Mind and Dementia UK.
The team are of various ages and running abilities but are united in their determination to raise funds and awareness for Mind in memory of Harry Greenman, who sadly took his own life at the age of 23 in 2021 following a battle with mental health. They are also racing for Dementia UK in honour of Hilda Jones, who is living with the condition.
Among those running will be Harry’s father, Steve Greenman.
“About a year ago, my friend Kev called to say he was thinking about running the Half Marathon at the Great Bristol Run. He said he wanted to do it for Mind in honour of Harry, but his wife’s mum, Hilda Bridges, suffers from dementia – as does my own mum – so he decided to make it a double whammy and raise funds for both Mind and Dementia UK.
“I’m a type 1 diabetic, I smoke and am probably overweight, but when he asked if I’d join him, I could hardly say no!”
Kevin and Steve were soon joined by Steve’s wife Hazel, plus other friends from the local community and co-workers from Western Power Distribution.
“One Sunday afternoon we were having a couple of pints at our local and were talking about the race. That got others interested and it all spiralled from there.
“Harry was a very popular kid and a lot of his friends and ours have decided they’re going to put themselves through it as well. Some of them are in good shape and are talking about setting PBs, but others – including me – will just be trying to get through it!”
Steve’s training often includes a combination of running and walking, plus chatting to those he runs with.
“It’s the social aspect I most enjoy,” he explains. “And going out for a run makes you feel better about yourself. The last year and a half has been hugely tough for us as a family and we really appreciate how people have come out to support us. They’re going to give up their Sunday to help, which is a massive boost for us as a family and means a hell of a lot.
“We live in a great area with great friends and great workmates and they’ve been there for us throughout this horrible time. Getting everyone together like this is fantastic.”
Helen Bridges, Hilda’s daughter, added: “Mum was diagnosed in the early stages of dementia and both me and my sister do our best to make life easier for her as she travels through life living with this horrible disease that will eventually take her from us.
“Thankfully there are organisations out there that give us tremendous support whenever we need it, so I feel like raising awareness and funds for dementia will help us give something back.”
The team will be wearing t-shirts with a big picture of Harry on the back, plus the logos of the charities they’re running for, and have already more than doubled their initial fundraising target of £1,000.
You can donate to the team of runners here
Entries for the Great Bristol Run 10k, Half Marathon and Family Mile which tale place on Sunday 25 September are now open at greatrun.org/Bristol.
As well as taking in Bristol’s iconic harbourside area, the Great Bristol Run Half-Marathon course out along the beautiful and peaceful Avon Gorge passing under the world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, before joining the 10k route at Spike Island.
At this year’s event, runners can look forward to a live, start line DJ, pumping out a high energy set to help them find their groove for the challenge ahead.