2020 Dash Medal Reveal
We're delighted to unveil the 2020 December Daily Dash medal. For your chance to get your hands on this great bit of eco-friendly bling, all you need to do is register and kick off your fundraising, or make a donation yourself!
RunningThroughGrief - Sarah's Story
Grief is excruciating and you never know how you’ll feel, at times you will gasp, sob or even laugh. I think it’s fair to say that Christmas is never going to be easy when you’ve lost someone you love, as it’s a time of happiness, joy and togetherness. However, it’s also a time where we need to remember that it is ok to feel lost, to feel like you need a new normal. I believe we need to try not to have expectations of how we should feel and focus on remembering happy memories that we had in previous years.
"There is always joy, laughter and happiness"
Losing my pops was the hardest thing I have ever had to continue to cope with. I say continue because we never deal with grief, we just learn to live with it. It may sound crazy and a year ago I’d have hated myself for saying this, but I have found that there is always joy, laughter and happiness even in the saddest of times. It will never get easier and I’m sure you will never get over the loss of a loved one. However, over time we learn to live with the pain in our everyday lives.
18 months ago, when I began running, I learnt that it’s a lesson. You continue to move forward, step by step, even in the most painful of times, which is just like grief. When you begin running it’s HARD, you no longer have the capacity to let your mind wander into those dark places, mainly because you’re focusing on catching your breath and not falling over and because your focusing on getting to the finish line, you just keep going.
"Find comfort, solace, peace and a sense of purpose"
As we approach the festive season, I think it’s so important that we each dedicate time to ourselves, with whatever is going on in our lives. To find comfort, solace, peace and a sense of purpose.
Sue Ryder has continued to support me and my family since we lost pops, and even offered a charity place for the London Marathon 2020. This of course did not go quite to plan however, instead, I completed the London Virgin Money virtual marathon around my home streets of Buckinghamshire.
The ‘December Daily Dash’ is exactly that, another widely available opportunity for individuals to channel their emotions into, whilst raising money for an incredible charity. For me, it’s a chance to run every day throughout December, but you could run, walk or jog.
"Taking time out to manage your emotions"
Everyone can be included in this challenge, starting on 1 st December and finishing on 31 st December. Every single day you will be outside completing your 5K distance and taking time out to manage your emotions.
"Think about yourself"
As well as running, I have taken to blogging my journey through grief on both Instagram and Facebook @RunningThroughGrief. I give my honest thoughts and feelings and try to let people see exactly how it feels to be exploring running whilst learning to deal with a life without my dad. If I can offer you one piece of advice as the festive period approaches, think about yourself. It’s so easy to get caught up in the motions and deprive yourself of time alone, time to do what you want to do. The December Daily Dash will help you to automatically include this into your day, so for me, I will definitely be participating!
September 20th 2020
Jackie & Mark's Story
“When my dad died, running was one of the things that gave me some head space – it always has done anyway, but especially at that point in time exercise really helped to boost my morale and gave me the time and thinking space that I needed.
“Christmas is a crazy time of year and you can be completely consumed by it, regardless of whether you are grieving, so to have that reason to get out every day and give yourself that breathing space for half an hour is really beneficial. It’s a really healthy thing.”
More important than ever
For the Dash, participants commit to run, walk or jog 5k every day throughout December and with so many people struggling with the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, Jackie believes this year’s event could be more important than ever.
“The great thing about the Dash is that it won’t be cancelled. Even in the depths of lockdown you could still go out and exercise and this is an event that is so accessible. People can take part in it independently or with friends and choose to run, walk or jog. I think this year in particular there will be so many people who will find December difficult and will need this sort of activity and focus to help them through.”
Jackie’s mum, Brenda, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011 and sadly died in October 2013.
“About six months after Mum’s death, Dad was admitted to hospital with chest pains, which had been recurring for some time. He had a tumour in a little-known gland in his chest called the thymus gland and he was diagnosed with cancer, which we found out had already spread to his lungs. We couldn’t believe it so soon after losing Mum.”
“I remember him telling me how much he appreciated the mugs of hot chocolate that the nurses made him before bed, and how well looked after he felt”
By December 2014, Jackie’s Dad, Mike, who was still grieving the loss of his wife, was struggling to cope on his own and he was admitted to Sue Ryder’s Leckhampton Court Hospice. As the cancer spread, he lost the use of his hands and his mobility and pain worsened.
“The relief he felt to be in such an amazingly caring environment, with such great facilities and views out onto the beautiful Cotswold countryside, was amazing. I remember him telling me how much he appreciated the mugs of hot chocolate that the nurses made him before bed, and how well looked after he felt.
“The fact that he had someone there caring for him while he was grieving for Mum was a great comfort to him (and us)”
“Even though he was only in the hospice for a few weeks, just the fact that he had someone there caring for him while he was grieving for Mum was a great comfort to him (and us); Leckhampton was a massive lifeline for us.”
Jackie’s Dad later moved into a private nursing home where he died in March 2015. A few months later she and Mark came up with the idea of the December Daily Dash.
“I really wanted to try and find something positive out of an incredibly sad situation”
“After losing my parents so close together, I really wanted to try and find something positive out of an incredibly sad situation. My husband is a massive runner and I run to keep fit. Someone had mentioned the idea of running every day and we thought why don’t we give it a go and try to raise money for Sue Ryder? It spread via word of mouth and that year there were 13 of us. I think we raised about £3,000 altogether and we held a little finale run from our garage and cooked everybody breakfast.
“Sue Ryder offered my Dad a haven at a very bleak time, and looked after him with care and dignity, and for that, we will always be grateful”
“Each year more and more people from far and wide have got involved and each year we have raised more money. 2020 will be our sixth December Daily Dash and we hope it will be the biggest yet.
“Sue Ryder offered my Dad a haven at a very bleak time, and looked after him with care and dignity, and for that, we will always be grateful. We want to raise money for Sue Ryder care centres across the country, so we can help them provide more of this care to other families who need that support.”
Join Jackie and Mark for December Daily Dash 2020
Help make this year's Dash the biggest yet and raise vital funds for our palliative, neurological and bereavement support. Either click the register button at the top of the page, or find it here
August 28th 2020
Welcome to the 2020 December Daily Dash!
As with previous years, we've launched the December Daily Dash early so that you can get signed up well in advance and find out everything you need to before we kick off in December. Three months will give you plenty of time to break in a new set of shoes, put in some speed work with training, or make a great headstart on fundraising. We'll be in touch regularly between September and kick-off to keep you up-to-date with news and tips for both training and fundraising. Anything that's too long to go in an email will be on here too!
In the meantime though, just shout if you've got any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to know more than we've talked about here? Email the team at email@example.com and we'll do our best to help you!