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Blenheim 7k runners of the week:

2nd March

Catherine Bell,  Freeths Associate, solicitor-advocate specialising in clinical negligence

It’s great to see my firm and colleagues support the local community in so many ways and the Blenheim 7K Fun Run is just one of the many things we do on an annual basis to help raise much needed funds for local and national charities.   As a solicitor at Freeths, I advise and support people with medical negligence claims including complex brain injury claims. I took up running fairly recently because it is easier to fit around commuting, work and small children than most of the other sports/activities I love. Before that I had not run since school. I am aiming to run a half marathon for charity later in the year so hopefully taking part in the Blenheim 7K Fun Run will be a good start. I don’t have a training plan yet other than to get out there and run whenever I can.


21 February

Claire Colbert, partner, collaborative lawyer and mediator at Freeths solicitors

“I started running last year, having decided that I wanted to set myself a physical challenge for a good cause before I turn 40 this summer. I signed up to do the Blenheim half marathon in October for the Oxford hospital trust.  Training has been going well and I have gone from couch to 8km in the last few months. The fun run will be my first “official” run and I’m looking forward to being tested by the Blenheim hills!”



SIA Team Awesome 2

A wheely good charity challenge at Blenheim Palace 7k

A group Spinal Injuries Association staff members and volunteers ran and pushed around the Blenheim Palace 7k/4m course on Sunday 8 May 2016 to raise awareness of paralysis ahead of the national awareness day.

 SIA Team Awesome, as the group of nine Spinal Injuries Association staff members and volunteers have called themselves, have been training in Milton Keynes every other day after signing up for the event two months ago.  

 Before the run, Hayley Coomber, SIA Team Awesome leader, said of the challenge “I wanted to do a challenge for the Spinal Injuries Association as they are one of my favourite charities and the Blenheim Palace route seems so lovely. Seven of us are taking part in wheelchairs, even though most of us are non-disabled people – because we thought it would be a great way to raise awareness of spinal cord injury, the charity and the event, which is fully inclusive. Some of the team are really fast but we’ll be sticking together and completing the course as a team.”

 Although Spinal Cord Injuries Awareness Day takes place on 20 May, the national charity, which supports everyone affected by paralysis caused by damage to the spinal cord, has already been busy raising awareness of spinal cord injury by recruiting participants for the Blenheim 7K event. The team of eight staff members and volunteers will be joined by 22 other participants taking part for the Spinal Injuries Association and a number of family and friends who will be cheering all 30 participants around the course. 

So far SIA Team Awesome have raised £1260 for the Spinal Injuries Association,  just shy of the team’s fundraising goal of £1500. If you would like to support the team in their efforts on Sunday, you can sponsor them at or contact Amanda Giles on if you would like to help cheer the team on, on Sunday.

edward mcdonaghThe 4 miles on wheels event was pioneered in 2014 by young 24 year old Edward McDonagh, accompanied by Johnathan Watson, who suffered a life-changing brain injury in a car accident at the age of 8. Edward was fundraising for the Children’s Trust which supported him through his year-long stay in hospital and rehabilitation.

Oxford Mail articles
9 May 2014, 16 May 2014, 19 May 2014.

Click here to view a YouTube clip with Edward from BBC South Today.


ben whymarkBen Whymark is from Didcot and ran the 1 mile race for the Child Brain Injury Trust (it is Brain Injury Action Week).

When Ben was 16 months old he contracted meningitis and septicaemia. He was on a life support machine and suffered kidney failure. Now aged 7 he suffers from problems prevalent in every minute of his life. He has no off switch and cries at night because he can’t switch his brain off. He gets a ‘fuzzy head’ a lot of days that he just can’t explain.