A popular family running event – which attracts runners from across Staffordshire and has raised a massive £113,719 for St Giles Hospice over the last 25 years – will be back and better than ever this summer (2022), organisers say.
The annual Tamworth Gate Gallop was cancelled during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 and it had to take place in a reduced capacity last year (2021) after running club, the Peel Road Runners, received permission to go ahead at the last minute.
The running club was still able to raise £3,428 for St Giles despite the kids run and family entertainments not taking place. The money raised will help to fund hospice care for patients, and their families, living with a terminal illness.
Now the Peel Road Runners want to make 2022’s Tamworth Gate Gallop, on Sunday, 26th June, a year to remember by raising more money than ever for St Giles Hospice. The full event is returning with a 10km run, a 4.4km fun run, a kids run, family entertainments, refreshments and a tombola.
The run is an off-road, traffic free event, which is part of the Burton District Summer League running calendar. It will be taking place at the Anker Valley Sports Complex, in Amington, from 9am.
Organiser Martin Hollamby, who lives in Tamworth and lectures at Keele University, said: “We were thrilled to be able to bring the Gate Gallop back last year – many of the runners hadn’t been able to take part in a proper race for 17 months – but we missed some of the family atmosphere and this year we want to get the old spirit back.
“The Gate Gallop is a particularly special event because of the charity we support and we’d encourage as many people as possible to sign up and raise sponsorship if they can. Everybody in Tamworth knows somebody who has been helped by St Giles Hospice. I’ve only lived locally for eight years and I already know several people who have received outstanding care from the staff there.
“You couldn’t wish for a better charity to support. People respond really well when they know we are helping a great cause that cares for so many local people. St Giles relies upon fundraising for most of its income, so we know that every pound we raise matters and makes a real difference to supporting people in our community. Once our costs are covered, every penny goes to supporting the incredible work of St Giles.”
The Tamworth Gate Gallop is an event close to the hearts of Martin’s family. Before he took up the reins in 2021, his wife Zoe organised the event. His elder daughter Sally, aged six, has taken part in the kids run and this year his younger daughter Emma, aged three, will take part for the first time, after supporting St Giles with her family at the Rudolph Run last Christmas.
“The Gate Gallop isn’t just an event where you take part in a run and go home, it’s a morning out for all the family,” added Martin. “All races begin at the Anker Valley Sports Complex and the kids run and family activities all take place within the enclosed grounds, so it’s safe and fun for people of all ages and abilities.
“The runs are completely off-road and take people through some lovely countryside which many travel past each day but may never notice. We have plenty of marshals on hand to cheer runners along and make sure that nobody gets lost. We’ll also be operating under appropriate COVID-19 guidelines if any are in place at the time to ensure that everyone stays safe.”
Chloe Herbert, Head of Fundraising at St Giles Hospice, said: “After taking place almost every year for more than 25 years, the Tamworth Gate Gallop has become a real annual tradition. The Peel Road Runners have raised £113,719 in that time, which is an astonishing achievement, and we’re so grateful to them for their continuing support.
“It was so sad that 2020’s event couldn’t go ahead because of the Coronavirus pandemic, and last year it was really uncertain whether anything could take place due to the COVID-19 restrictions at the time.
“But Martin and the organisers did an amazing job to pull it all together so quickly and we’d like to thank the Peel Road Runners and everyone who took part for raising vital funds for St Giles in 2021. Their support meant more to us than ever following a year when we’d had to cancel fundraising events and temporarily close our shops.”
Entry is £15 for people aged 15 and over taking part in the 10km race, £9 for people aged nine and over taking part in the 4.4km fun run (under 12s must be accompanied by an adult) or £3 for kids taking part in the 600m kids run (parents or guardians are welcome to accompany their children).
Everyone taking part will receive a finisher medal and a goodie bag, and there will be electronic chip timing for people taking part in the 10km race and the fun run.
For further details about the event or to sign up visit www.stgileshospice.com/gategallop
For more information about St Giles Hospice and the expert care it provides, please visit www.stgileshospice.com
PICTURE CAPTION: From left to right: Emma Schnepp (picked up), Martin Hollamby (front), Jackie Tierney (back), Zoe Schnepp (front), Garth Cox (back), Sarah French (front), Stephen Andrews (back), Sally Schnepp (very front, holding cheque), Alison Dolphin (front), Joy Sykes (back), Nicola Bannister (front), Claire Guffick (back), Ann Hill (front), Lee Guffick (back), Christine Norris (front).
About St Giles Hospice:
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.