A popular Staffordshire running event organised each summer by the Peel Road Runners in aid of St Giles Hospice is set to return next month.
The Tamworth Gate Gallop will be taking place on Sunday 27th June at the Anker Valley Sports Complex in Amington, Tamworth, following its cancellation last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Tamworth Gate Gallop has been taking place for more than 25 years and in that time has raised over £100,000 to help fund the hospice’s work caring for local people living with a terminal illness.
One person who will be taking part in the Tamworth Gate Gallop this year to support St Giles Hospice will be Craig Ruff, aged 48, from Tamworth. In 2019, Craig and his family formed “Team Tone” to run the Gate Gallop in memory of his father Tony. Tony was diagnosed with liver cancer in January 2018 and visited St Giles Hospice each week for care and support before his death in November that year.
Tony Ruff at the Gate Gallop in 2018
With their medals in 2018 (back from left) Marc Ruff, Tony Ruff, Danielle Ruff and Craig Ruff and (front from left) Joshua Ruff and Isabel Ruff.
The family took part in the Gate Gallop with Tony in 2018 and Craig and his dad had also taken part previously. In October 2019 Craig and his sister Danielle signed up for the Great Birmingham Run half marathon in aid of St Giles. Craig said:
“Dad looked forward to going to St Giles all the time so we are eternally grateful. Dad was always laughing and he was like that until just before the end. They helped him to keep smiling.
When I did the half marathon I had moments where I struggled, but that was nothing compared to the effort St Giles put into caring for Dad. I’d run to the ends of the Earth to raise the funds to look after people like Dad and other families like ours.
St Giles is a local charity which provides an important service. You always feel cared for there and it’s such a comforting place.”
Provided COVID-19 safety measures allow at the time of the event, the Peel Road Runners will be running an off-road, traffic-free 10k run, which is part of the Burton & District Summer League programme, a 4.4k fun run, and a children’s run.
If COVID-19 restrictions are re-imposed, the organisers will adapt the event so that a virtual Tamworth Gate Gallop can take place, allowing people to take part safely in their own time and location.
The event will feature a fully-marked and marshalled route, finisher medals, goodie bags, electronic chip timing for 10k and fun run participants and event facilities including a water station, toilets and free parking.
Organiser Martin Hollamby, of the Peel Road Runners, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Tamworth Gate Gallop is taking place next month in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. Every year we get runners from across the region flocking to take part and to raise funds for St Giles Hospice and – like so many other events – it was sorely missed last year.
“It’s a fantastic fun event for people of all ages and you don’t have to be a dedicated runner to come along and enjoy yourself. The event will be taking place in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. We are planning a staggered start for the 10k and fun run, to ensure that everyone is kept safe and secure. It’s looking likely that we are going to be able to offer our popular children’s run too.”
Chloe Herbert, Head of Fundraising at St Giles Hospice, said: “It’s wonderful news that the Tamworth Gate Gallop will be going ahead this year in aid of St Giles Hospice and we hope that as many people as possible will take part and raise some much-needed funds for the hospice at a time when we have never needed our community more.
“A lot of people raising a small amount can make a huge difference to the lives of local people living with a terminal illness, and after the difficult year St Giles has faced, we need fundraising events like the Gate Gallop more than ever in 2021.”
Entry for the Tamworth Gate Gallop closed at 11.59pm on Sunday 20th June (for people aged 9 and over). Entries for the children’s run will be £3 on the day.
For further information or to register visit www.stgileshospice.com/gategallop
For more information about St Giles Hospice and the expert care it provides, please visit www.stgileshospice.com
Lead picture caption: The Ruff family (from left) Marc Ruff, Joshua Ruff, Danielle Ruff, Wendy Ruff (Tony’s wife), Vicki Ruff and Craig Ruff taking part as ‘Team Tone’ in 2019;
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St Giles Hospice is a registered charity offering high-quality specialist care free of charge for people living with diseases which are terminal or incurable as well as providing support for their families and carers.
Patients come from across the hospice’s catchment area, which ranges from Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Atherstone in the east, to Cannock in the west – and from Burton and Uttoxeter in the north, to Sutton Coldfield and Coleshill in the south.
Care is offered at the hospice’s centres in Whittington and Sutton Coldfield and in patients’ own homes across the region.
St Giles spends over £10 million a year providing its specialist services and with little more than a third of this funded by the Government, the registered charity relies heavily on donations and income generation from the local community.