The Face behind the Race!
Thursday 01 Feb 2024
Loraine Fulton, aka Rai, is the Volunteers Manager at Jersey Hospice Care - responsible for the army of around 400 volunteers who dedicate their spare time to Hospice, and she's also the Race Director for the Hospice 2 Hospice Half Marathon!
The idea for the race came about when she applied for a place to run for Jersey Hospice Care in the London Marathon in 2020. Having already complete the London Marathon four times and the Jersey Marathon twice, she was running out of ideas to generate the £2,500 fundraising target she needed to reach.
So, she hit upon the idea of organising the Hospice 2 Hospice Half Marathon.
“I wanted the route to be completely new for runners and as it was to raise money for Hospice, I thought a Hospice to Hospice would be a great idea. I also thought other runners would value the chance to take part in a half marathon as part of their training. With help from Jon Cootes (a local veteran runner), we created the route from the St Ouen’s Hospice Store to Jersey Hospice Care on Mont Cochon.”
Unfortunately the first race was deferred - due to the pandemic - and replaced by a virtual one in October 2020, when restrictions were lifted to allow people to run further from home.
“I was devastated when it looked like the event would have to be cancelled. We offered runners the chance to defer their entry to 2021 but so many wanted to try and carry on in some form, so I was inspired to convert it to a virtual race, which raised £17,000 for Hospice.”
Since then, the race has gone from strength to strength and is fast becoming very popular in running circles as a great route to cut your teeth on. The first 10km is fairly flat followed by a gentle downhill at the end towards Hospice, which makes it friendly for anyone attempting their first serious long-distance race.
“We’ve had the course officially measured and fully licensed by England Athletics. The race will also be chip timed and the results published to The Power of 10 for all our serious runners taking part who need to collect race points.”
Last year’s race saw more than 600 runners take part - which was more than double the previous year and the fundraising total reached an incredible £37,000! Expectations for this year’s race are high with entries already more than 500 - and we've still got two months left to go.
From the seed of an idea to help with one individual’s fundraising, to now being a firm fixture in Jersey’s race calendar, Rai is rightly proud of what she’s achieved.
“Although I work for Hospice managing the volunteer service, all the work I do arranging the Hospice 2 Hospice Half is done in my own time. It's a lot of work, but I’ve learnt lots of lessons over the past 4 years and now have the planning down to a fine art”.
“It's a bit of an odd one, especially as I manage the volunteers and marshals who come out in droves to support this event and go over and above to help me out, as well as our Income Generation team who help me get the word out there. And of course, now due to the size of the race, it wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors EY.”
“I’m so proud of how much this event has grown and is loved by Jersey’s running community. The feedback we have received is lovely and it's great to see others achieving their own goals as well as helping Hospice achieve ours. It’s my way of giving back to a charity that I not only work for, but really believe in.”
We need marshals, volunteers and cake bakers to help with the smooth running of this event. So please get in touch if you're able to help.
If you want to run in this year's Hospice 2 Hospice Half Marathon, then you can sign up here.