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Tom and his dad conquer the Windermere Marathon for Birmingham Hospice  

18 June 2024

Tom Ritchie took on the incredible 26.2 mile course in picturesque Windermere in memory of both his grandparents who were cared for by Birmingham Hospice.  

After completing an impressive 11 half-marathons already, this was Tom’s first full marathon and it was no easy feat! He tackled the challenge back in May this year with his dad Jonathan.  

Tom said: “While I had been training in the months running up to it, the race was more challenging than I imagined.  

“I enjoyed it a lot but the second half was really demanding due it being so hilly. In fact, I spoke to one runner who had ran over 20 marathons and said this one had been the toughest. 

“I would recommend starting training early and slowly increasing the distance you run. Don’t worry too much about the time you complete the marathon in, just take it mile by mile.” 

When signing up for the race, Tom said Birmingham Hospice was the only choice for him to fundraise for considering the care his grandparents received.   

He shared: “Back in 2009, my mum’s mum, who we called Lalla, was cared for at the hospice after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007. I was too young to visit the hospice then, but my family have always talked highly of the care she received and have been supporting the hospice ever since.   

“Then last August, my grandpa was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer and we were sadly told he had up to six months to live. My grandpa had otherwise been really healthy but he declined rapidly and died just 27 days after his diagnosis.” 

During his last week, Tom’s grandpa was cared for in our Inpatient Unit.  

 “My grandma said that she wanted my grandpa to either go into the hospice or be cared for at home,” he said.  

“She was happy when a space at the hospice became available for him because she knew he would be cared for so well.  

“I was able to visit my grandpa and saw the amazing round-the-clock care that the hospice teams provided. The flexible visiting hours meant the whole family was able to spend as much time with him as possible and it brought us peace of mind to see how comfortable he was during his final days.” 

Wanting to give back to the hospice, Tom and Jonathan have raised over a brilliant £1,000 and been overwhelmed by the generosity of those who have sponsored him for his marathon.  

Tom said: “I initially just shared my fundraiser on Instagram and managed to raise £100 on the first day. I then shared it in group chats with family and friends, as well as sending an email around my workplace. I found sharing the personal connection I have with the hospice inspired more donations.” 

Plus, Tom’s workplace does match-funding up to £250, which will take his total to £1,400! 

We’re so grateful to Tom and his dad for smashing the Windermere Marathon for our charity. The funds raised will help local people living with a terminal diagnosis to receive the expert and compassionate care they need. 

If you’ve been inspired by Tom’s story and would like to get involved, please email and our team would be happy to support you.