Leeds nurse went the extra mile for patients on New Year’s Day

Categories: Fundraising.

A Sue Ryder Nurse from Leeds went the extra mile for all those needing the expert and compassionate care of the hospice she works for on New Year’s Day, by taking on the gruelling Hardmoors 30 across the North York Moors.

And as Sarah Norman crossed the finish line of what was her 100th ultramarathon, the 52 year old from Pudsey in Leeds had completed an astonishing 5,049 ultra-marathon miles.

Sarah works as a Community Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice and has been with the charity for over 21 years.

During this time she has helped care for hundreds of families and raised an astonishing £29,675 for those needing the care of the hospice through marathons, ultramarathons, completing the December Daily Dash and even trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro to watch the sun rise on New Year’s Day in 2016.

“Sue Ryder is such a caring and inclusive organisation. The best thing about doing my job is just how rewarding it is,” shares Sarah. “It is such an honour to be there for people at what is such an important and emotional time in their lives.

“Most people think that the job is depressing and there are days when I am sad, but there are days when I see a patient we have helped make more comfortable and it makes it so worthwhile.”

During December Sarah has been running 5km every single day to raise money as part of Sue Ryder’s December Daily Dash. When asked how she fits in her running around her busy role as a Sue Ryder Nurse Sarah explains it is the running which helps her do her job.

“In a way running and taking part in ultra-marathons helps me to keep doing my job. Running is my way of clearing the mind. It gives me time to reflect and it is a huge source of stress release.

“We run in some pretty outstanding places too and the scenery is just amazing. There are times when I think ‘why on earth do I do this?’ but when you finish and look back on what you have achieved you feel such a high.

“I run alongside my husband, Andy, and he’s there every step of the way. When I am struggling he hands me jelly babies and then cooks pizza when we get home. We have so many friends that run too. It is great – a proper community.”

Sarah completed her first road marathon in 2002 and it was colleagues at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice who encouraged her to try off road running.

“After I had done a few marathons the consultant at the hospice who did off road running encouraged me to have a go at trail running. I soon found I enjoyed running off road more than on it, and a group of hospice staff would meet up to go running before work. Before I knew it I had completed a few shorter races and then I was running races of 50 to 60 miles.”

At 8am on New Year’s Day,  Sarah lined up to take on the Hardmoors 30 along the Cleveland Way, starting at Whitby Abbey running along the coastal path and back again in a figure of eight. All of it off road and Sarah expected most of it to be muddy!

“I have completed all of the New Year’s Day Hardmoor races,” shares Sarah. “The only one I have missed is when I was climbing up Mount Kilimanjaro fundraising for Sue Ryder.”

“I was really looking forward to the race. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate New Year’s Day.”

Sarah says she was tucked up early on New Year’s Eve ahead of the race, but there was some celebrating with a couple of shandys afterwards.

She hopes by sharing her story people will be inspired to take on a challenge of their own in 2022 to support Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice.

“Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice is such a fantastic environment to work in. We have such an amazing team who do all they can to give wonderful care and I see first-hand what a difference this care makes to families.”

For more information on the different ways you can support Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice in 2022 email wheatfields.fundraising@sueryder.org or call 0113 278 7249.


About Sue Ryder:

Sue Ryder supports people through the most difficult times of their lives. Whether that’s a terminal illness, the loss of a loved one or a neurological condition – we’re there when it matters.

For over 65 years our doctors, nurses and carers have given people the compassion and expert care they need to help them live the best life they possibly can. We take the time to understand what’s important to people and give them choice and control over their care. For some this may mean specialist care in one of our centres, whilst others might need support in their own home.

Find out more by visiting www.sueryder.org or following us on Twitter @Sue_Ryder


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