Catching the running bug four years ago, Nicola Davey, decided that, this year, she would focus her passion – and love of new challenges – on raising money for Children’s Hospice South West – a charity close to her heart.
After deciding to quit smoking, Nicola’s running and fundraising journey began in 2012, when she and her friend took part in the NSPCC’s HACK event – a 25-mile hike along the South West Coastal Path and the Exe Estuary. Enjoying the physical test and motivated by the prospect of challenging herself for a good cause, she later took on CRUK’s Race for Life. It was then that the mum of two from Starcross, near Exeter, became hooked and, after taking part in a series of 5K and 10K races, soon found herself running half-marathons and OCR events, culminating in a decision to take on her biggest challenge yet this year. “Reaching my 40th, I needed another challenge,” said Nicola, “the London Marathon!”
For Nicola, the London Marathon would not only be her toughest physical challenge yet, but one that held huge emotional significance for her and her family. Nicola decided to run for CHSW – a charity whom her family hold a strong emotional connection to – particularly her aunt and uncle.
“Eighteen years ago, my aunt Katy and my uncle Alan had a little girl called Chloe; Chloe was born with a number of health problems, meaning her long-term prognosis was not good. Chloe was offered a place at Little Bridge House, which then was the only CHSW hospice but, sadly, Chloe passed away before she was able to take up her placement.
“But my aunt and the rest of the family could see how valuable this type of facility was to families and therefore, over the years, have raised thousands of pounds for CHSW.”
Inspired by her family’s dedicated fundraising efforts – and also in hearing of the hugely positive experiences others have had with the charity – Nicola threw everything she had at the challenge, raising thousands of pounds for CHSW. “Running London was unbelievable,” said Nicola, “I loved every minute of it.”
“It would have been Chloe’s 18th birthday, so it meant an awful lot to me and my family. I have friends whose families have also had relatives who have spent time at Little Bridge House, and whose families are still being supported 12 months after the loss of their child. They say the support they give to parents and siblings is just fantastic, and they could not have coped without this amazing place.”
Passionate to continue with her fundraising, Nicola took part in CHSW’s Rainbow Run last month, joined by her friends and family, and will be running our WR10K Exeter race on Sunday, alongside her mum and friends. She said: “Events like this are such great fun because they are for everyone and anyone can get involved. What else are you going to be doing for a couple of hours on a Sunday morning? Come to Exeter, run along the river, raise some money for an amazing cause and be proud of yourself for doing it!”
Nicola has now raised over £3,000 for CHSW and will be handing over the funds in July. But her stream of challenges won’t be stopping there. “I have a 15K OCR event in July, a city to coast marathon in September and then a friend and I are taking on three marathons in three days, as part of The Atlantic Coast Challenge in October!”
Would you like to join Nicola on Sunday? Head over to Riverside Valley Park for our WR10K and sign up on the day. For more information, please visit: womensrunninguk.co.uk/wr10k/exeter-2016/