Last weekend AJ Hill, Head of UK Commercial Operations at Ve, headed up North to take part in the Great Manchester 10k Run. AJ signed up for the race to surprise his good friend Dean who was running to raise money for The Christie hospital, where he is being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
As part of Ve’s CSR policy, we were able to contribute £300 towards this amazing cause.
To find out more about AJ and Dean’s story, motivations and the day itself we caught up with the man himself.
Tell us why you ran for The Christie?
My sister’s boyfriend and good friend Dean Duignan was recently diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. It’s a bit of a cruel twist of fate as he has already been fundraising for The Christie for a number of years. He was going to run the Great Manchester 10k and the plan was for my fiancé, dad, sister and I to surprise him on the start line but unfortunately, he wasn’t well enough on the day.
Did you have a goal for the 10k?
It was a real team effort. The goal was to start and finish together – all four of us, which we did!
What was your training regime?
To get on the treadmill and get faster and faster each time. But I probably could have done with some more wet-weather training…
What was the toughest aspect?
The weather. Running into a headwind for the first half was horrible. As soon as we passed the start line, the clouds came in and it didn’t stop raining until the finish. But the crowd was incredible, the supporters were really motivating everyone on. I really enjoyed it.
What did you have waiting at the end of the finish line?
A big group hug between the four of us and a cup of tea.
The whole run was a great experience. I started listening to music, but felt I was missing out on the atmosphere so took my headphones out. The whole way round there was live music with DJs playing, so plenty to listen to. I just had a big smile on running round.
I’ve got the bug now. I’m going to sign up for the Great North run in September. Then the big aim for next year is to run the London Marathon with Dean. Hopefully, by that point he will have the all clear and we can run it together.
To contribute to this very important cause, you can find the donation page here – all donations are greatly appreciated.