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Birmingham Retirement Village rallies in support of Marathon Running Colleague

Bournville Gardens Retirement Villagers picked up their running shoes this week to support one of their own. As Hannah Makin, ExtraCare’s Digital Marketing Officer gears up to tackle the London Marathon, Birmingham retirees and gym goers donned workout gear and took to Bournville Garden’s gym. Working across rowing machines, exercise bikes, and treadmills they each built up the miles progressively throughout the day to run equivalent marathon distances.

Under the watchful eye of Fitness Instructor Lindsey Thompson who has herself recently been nominated for a Heart & Soul award, residents, staff and non-residents alike threw themselves into the challenge.

External gym goer David Phipps, who managed 3.6 miles on the treadmill for the collective total commented: “Being in the gym is so important to live a healthier active life, and maintain and improve mental and physical health, I used to run marathons in the past so I’m very happy to take part today!”

Resident Barbara, is a regular visitor to the gym, attending every day, even at 87! She adds: “I’ve always been active. I’m constantly thinking what I can do to age well. I believe in things like this. I recently broke a bone in my foot so I can only do a few things today, but it’s about consistency, I’ll encourage anyone to make an effort, with consistent gym work our generation could save the NHS so much money. I absolutely adore it here.”

Barbara in the gym

Resident Claire who has progressive MS joined the effort on a THERA-Trainer machine a motor-assisted stationary cycling trainer for legs and upper body. She adds: “I made a decision when I came here last July to try and be as active as I can. I attend the gym once a week alongside yoga and Tai Chi. It’s important to join in with something like this, I like to get involved in as many things as I can, it helps that I have a positive outlook on life.”

34 residents and staff took part in the event and together managed to clock up 112 miles, with over £160 raised for the charity. As well as the marathon effort residents also shared their support by taking part in a group walk around the village gardens.

Claire on the THERA-trainer machine

The London marathon is always a memorable event for participants and supporters alike especially with the entire charity behind their young colleague. Hannah who will be running in April to raise money for the charity commented: “I’ve been blown away by how many people have come out to support here, I wondered if we’d be able to manage a single equivalent marathon but at Bournville we’ve managed over four marathon distances with 112 miles achieved. It has been great to meet so many new faces and see how much the gym and exercising has helped transform the lives of residents.”

Residents and staff joined a group walk.

Two other Birmingham locations operated by the charity, Pannel Croft Village and New Oscott Village will be following suit with their own fundraising efforts over the next month and encouraging residents and gym members to take up a challenge and join the fundraising effort.

To donate to Hannah’s marathon effort and help transform the lives of older people please visit the fundraising page.