The Race for Life event, which raises money for Cancer Research UK, took place at Stithians Showground and saw the teams tackle a variety of different obstacles – from space hoppers and mud tunnels, to piggy backs and climbing nets – all the while battling against the elements.
The four teams were the ‘Muddy Maidens’ from CITS, the team from Surgical Admissions Lounge & Theatre Direct, a team of nurses and health care assistants from St Michael’s Hospital and the ‘Dirty Dietitians’. Susan Foley, who alongside her courageous colleagues led the team from SAL & Theatre Direct, described the event as a “fantastic turnout, despite the horrible weather.”
“The atmosphere from the start was buzzing” explains Susan. “We started the warm up and continued as the racers sprung ahead and the walkers kept up the rear.
I can honestly say I have not laughed so much in a long time.” While the event proved to be hugely enjoyable, Susan is quick to acknowledge that the fun and games carry a more serious purpose. “Many of our team members have their own personal stories relating to cancer”, Susan explains. “While this was a fantastic team building occasion, you can’t help but be moved by the passion and undercurrent of emotion, as all the teams worked incredibly hard to raise important, potentially life-saving funds.”
Catherine Penhallurick of the sixteen-strong team the Dirty Dietitians, expressed similar sentiments, explaining: “As a group of dietitians working within the NHS in Cornwall we have first-hand experience of the impact a cancer diagnosis has on people and their families. This is why we’re fundraising for Cancer Research UK.” Catherine continues: “Our fabulous colleague Jenna Chowney recruited the team and it is thanks to her that we were able to be a part of this fantastic event. We had great support, with over £1500 raised, including Gift Aid, with more donations still being made via our official fundraising page.”
Shelley Jackson from St Michael’s Hospital said the decision to participate for them was also a personal one. “The team decided to take part in this event in honour of a colleague currently facing their own battle with breast cancer”, explains Shelley. “The team has so far raised a massive total of £1111, which is still rising!”
The Muddy Maidens had already raised over £1000 prior to the event, which team member Claire Channon puts down to kind donations from family and friends across the whole team. “We have been doing lots of fundraising”, explains Claire. “So far we’ve had a cake sale, a wear it pink day and an auction where work colleagues have kindly donated. We held our last fundraiser – a raffle – just prior to the race on Friday 1st September. External companies have been extremely generous and we received some excellent prizes.” Summing up the event, Claire continues. “We all had a ball. Very wet and very muddy, but more importantly tons of laughter and loads of cash donated. Over £2000 to date, with more to be tallied! All the teams are incredibly grateful for the support they’ve received throughout.”
Three of the teams requested support from RCHT’s Improving Working Lives (IWL) initiative, enabling the purchase of colourful team vests for the event. IWL Co-ordinator Joani Miller adds: “The Muddy Race for Life is precisely the kind of activity that IWL is keen to help staff participate in. It has tremendous benefits, from improving health and wellbeing to strengthening team spirit. I’m incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of all involved.”