Running for Charity

Charity run season is officially in full swing – being kicked off by the London Marathon a few weeks ago. From fun 5K’s, to half marathons, to midnight walks: there are loads of ways to run, walk, skip and jump your way to helping out your favourite charity.

Jacob Priestly, a Biosciences student at The University of Wolverhampton, is partaking in not one, but TWO charity runs this spring/summer (along with his partner, Holly) – both in aid of Epilepsy Research UK.

Epilepsy Research UK supports and promotes scientific research into the causes, treatments and prevention of epilepsy.  It is the only national charity in the UK that is exclusively dedicated to funding independent research into this condition, by supporting the work of scientists and clinicians throughout the UK.

We spoke to Jacob about his (insane) plans to do two charity runs: the Gung Ho Fun 5K in Birmingham (16th June) and the Inflatable 5K in Wolverhampton (12th May).

1) What inspired you to do the charity runs in the first place?

I first got epilepsy from being involved in a car crash a few years ago (when I was 18 years old) after the car I was in started to slide on some grease, and ended up crashing into a wall. My partner Holly is also doing some other runs for other charities, so we both came up with the great idea for us both to run for Epilepsy Research UK.

2) Have you got any experience in running, or any other sport? Did this influence your decision to do the charity runs?

I play rugby for the University of Wolverhampton team, and I attend my local gym quite regularly.

3) Are you nervous about doing these charity runs? If not, what gave you the confidence to do it?

I just learned, over time, to accept what life throws at you - no matter how bad it is. My thoughts on the whole thing are: what's the point of worrying if you can't do anything about it? So, I handle the stress by just getting my head down, and cracking on with it.

4) Do you have any advice for someone thinking of doing a charity run themselves?

Firstly: don't just do it because you feel obliged for whatever reason. My advice is to make it fun, and do it for something important – your time could help find the light in the end of the tunnel for a lot of people, no matter what charity you ultimately choose.

If you’re all inspired by Jacob’s determination, and maybe want to do a charity run yourself, there are plenty of ways to get some practice in! If you’re lacking motivation, or worried about getting started - come along to the SU running group, facilitated by Heather, who is a qualified running led. Don’t worry if you’ve never run before, we’ll take it steady and go at your speed! Meet at the SU reception and we’ll go for a short run (max 5k) to West Park and back. Make sure you wear your running trainers - look out for the next running club date during term-time here: https://www.wolvesunion.org/wellatwolves/

Out of term time, there is a running club called Wolverhampton parkrun – on every Saturday at 9am, in West Park. http://www.parkrun.org.uk/wolverhampton/

I, for one, am NOT a fan of the gym – and definitely NOT a runner. Doing one run for charity is a huge feat, but to do more than one is just amazing. If you want to donate money towards Holly and Jacob’s cause, just follow the link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/keeprunningforresearch

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