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Couch to marathon!

Father and daughter, Andrew and Ellie Rogers have been supporters of Compton for many years now, but their most recent challenge, the London Marathon, has been a rewarding, yet challenging chapter of their story with Compton.

We sat down with Andrew and Ellie to chat about their upcoming challenge and it was noticeable how fondly they talked of Compton. The whole family has supported Compton for years, the only reason being that they like what the charity achieves and stands for. Ellie, a local primary school teacher, laughs, “Growing up, it was a running joke in our family that you could find us at Compton! If we were not searching for bargains in the charity shop, we were having lunch in the café. We were always there!”. Then in 2007, Compton took on a new meaning for the whole family when Andrew’s dad became ill. Andrew recalls on this period of time, “Compton gave my dad, and the rest of the family, all the support we could ever ask for at such a difficult time.”. It would be just over two years later that the family would find themselves back under the protective arm of Compton as they provided care for Andrew’s mom this time. Ellie recalls “I was only young when nan and grandad were looked after by Compton, and I guess for most people the thought of visiting a hospice would’ve been quite scary, but it really wasn’t. It just felt so calm and peaceful. I remember nan was at Compton for a while, and the staff would always welcome us with smiles when we went to see her. They looked after us all very well.”

During the pandemic, Andrew noticed a run, advertised by Compton, called Tough Mudder. The post asked people to step forward, take part in the challenge and raise money for Compton at the same time. The challenge involved running whilst completing various muddy obstacles. Andrew notes that Ellie and he were self confessed ‘complete non-runners’ but knowing have much the pandemic had crippled Compton, they decided to sign up and help. Ellie laughs as she talks about the beginning of her journey, “If you’d have asked me 18 months ago if I ever thought I could have been a runner, I’d have just laughed. I was always the last to be picked in P.E! But we had to start somewhere.”

Ellie and Andrew Rogers

Andrew and Ellie completed a ‘Couch to 5K’ programme, initially by running around the garden before venturing onto the roads. Ellie recalls how they left the house at 5:30am as they were so embarrassed to run in front of other people, but eventually they found themselves running 10km runs. Unfortunately, the original Tough Mudder was cancelled due to the ongoing issues with the pandemic. The paid had already started fundraising so decided to carry on training, and they built their own assault course in the garden! They completed the challenge and raised nearly £1800.

Andrew saw an advert on Twitter, asking for people to join the Compton Board of Trustees, he applied and was delighted when he was offered the position.

In January 2021, two Gold Bond places were being offered at the London Marathon in October, the pair thought “Why not?!” and applied. To get ready for the next challenge, they contacted an ultra-runner called Nick Butter for some tips and advice and he agreed to mentor them with a challenging training plan. Whilst not quite up to ultra-running standards, they have done incredibly well, recently completing 100km of running over the period of a month. Not bad for a father and daughter who could barely run around the garden this time last year!

Ellie and Andrew talked to Compton about the challenges they faced in training, such as hitting a ‘wall’ and how it is a very real thing and there being plenty of tears. But their advice is to push past it and carry on training, as the end result is worth it.

So far they have raised £4000 for Compton Care, when asked about this, Andrew said “We’d love to keep that total climbing. The £4000 we have raised so far would fund the equivalent of 5 nights of care for a person staying on Compton’s Inpatient Unit. How amazing would it be if we could double it to 10 nights? That is 10 nights of peace, dignity, love, comfort and support for family to spend precious and special time together.”

Andrew and Ellie will join 11 other people taking part in the London Marathon this weekend, we wish them all the best of luck and extend our huge thanks to them for taking part. We cannot imagine how tough a marathon is! We will be providing updates on the marathon on our social media accounts so please do take a look.

Andrew and Ellie will be representing Compton Care this October at the Virgin London Marathon. If you would like to support them head to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-rogers43

The good news is that they did finally manage to complete the Tough Mudder that they had originally signed up for!

Tough Mudder – the run that started it all

Speak to Compton in person, call us on 0300 323 0250