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Runners take to track at Brands Hatch

Monday 21st July 2014

THE roar of Formula One was replaced with the pounding of running shoes, when more than 550 athletes took part in the Heart of Kent Hospice’s first 10k charity run at Brands Hatch.

From experienced road runners to work colleagues and friends running their first 10k, everyone was keen to experience this world famous motor racing circuit on foot, raising £15,000 for the charity in the process.

The 10k hilly route took the runners around two laps of the Grand Prix and one lap of the Indy circuit. Hospice staff and volunteers were there to greet the runners, who included a team of Maidstone Harriers, and present them with their medals.

Calvin Mullins was the first runner to across the finish line, in 36.29 minutes, closely followed by Keiren Hughes with 38.42 minutes and Daniel Longhurst from West Malling in 39.26 minutes.

Calvin said: "It was great to take part in the first Brands Hatch 10k at such an iconic venue and even better to come in first place! The Heart of Kent Hospice is a brilliant local charity and I'm really pleased I could support them in this way.” 

The first ladies to finish the race were Catherine Ellis who completed the course in 45.51 minutes, Lisa Reid in 46.23 and Renata Blacker with 47.44 minutes.

Among those taking part was clinical nurse specialist Steve Crof, who has thrown himself into fundraising since joining the hospice in March this year.

Steve (33) cycled 100km in the hospice’s Cyclo Sportive in April and recently cycled from London to Paris, with three nursing friends,

Since he qualified as a registered nurse 11 years ago, Steve has raised thousands of pounds for different charities.  

He has cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats, climbed Kilimanjaro twice and run two marathons and three half marathons. 

When not taking on new sporting challenges, he works as a clinical nurse specialist in the community team based at the hospice, which supports patients with a life-limiting illness to remain at home and, as such, is a familiar figure to many of the patients in Maidstone and Malling.  

The team is the first point of contact when patients and their families are referred to the hospice, and ensures they receive the specialist support they need during what is a difficult and worrying time.

Mary Osborne, manager of the community team said “Although Steve has only been working with us for a short time, he has already become a valued member of the community team.  His genuine care for others and infectious enthusiasm for life has make him a firm favourite amongst staff, patients and families.”

It costs over £4m a year to run the hospice services, of which 70% is raised by the local community, through fundraising, challenges, donations and support from volunteers.