Posted 15th Mar 2016

“Runner’s high” for Bob Smith as University fundraisers hit streets for Bath Half

Staff and athletes at the University of Bath were among the 12,700 runners who took part in the Vitality Bath Half Marathon on Sunday.

For Bob Smith, Senior Strength & Conditioning Coach with the Team Bath MCTA International High-Performance Tennis Academy, it was his 11th half-marathon in as many weeks as he continues his inspirational fundraising effort for the Wallace & Gromit Grand Appeal at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

His baby daughter Autumn was rushed to the hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in November with a life-threatening heart condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia.

After five days of expert care, Autumn was allowed to return home and, while requiring more treatment in the future, is now a happy and healthy five-month-old baby.

To say thank you to the hospital, Bob is taking on a half-marathon every week during 2016 with the aim of raising the £8,000 that Autumn’s treatment cost.

The current total is just short of £3,200 after his efforts in the Bath Half, which Bob (pictured above with comedian Russell Howard, who also took part) described as “a runner’s high”.

“It was a fantastic day,” he said. “The weather was perfect, a cool Spring morning without a cloud in the sky, while the crowds were huge and so supportive.

“I really pleased with my three-minute PB on a flat course. It goes to show that all the suffering of the last ten weeks is having a good effect on my fitness!”

For more information about Bob’s fundraising efforts or to make a donation, visit https://www.justgiving.com/bobsm100/

Team Bath Netball captain Eboni Beckford-Chambers also took part in Sunday’s race, less than 24 hours after the Vitality Netball Superleague match at Surrey Storm.

She was running for Cancer Research UK in memory of her aunt, Norma Jacqueline Beckford-Walker, and has so far raised nearly £400. Donations can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/Eboni-Beckford-Chambers.

Eleven members of staff at the University of Bath ran the Bath Half to raise money for a sports development charity in Africa.

The University has been involved for the past ten years with the UK Sport IDEALS project in Zambia, which sees students spending six weeks in the African country working in schools and villages to deliver PE lessons, sporting competitions and health awareness workshops.

Donations can be made at https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/universityofbathteambathhalf

Bath Half offerTens of thousands of spectators turned out to cheer on the runners, including World, Olympic and European rowing champion Helen Glover.

She was back in the city where she first learnt to row – with the GB Rowing Team Start programme at the University of Bath – to support her mother and sister as they ran the race.

Students on the Sports Massage course at the University of Bath also put their new-found skills to good use on Sunday as they helped runners prepare and recover.

For the third successive year, Team Bath Training & Development was the official Sports Massage Provider for the Bath Rugby Foundation team as they take on the 13-mile challenge.

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