25 February 2020
Two Derbyshire officers have very different motivations to take part in this year’s Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.
With a marathon personal best of 2:57:03, DC Shaun Bott is no stranger to running and dreams of a sub 2:55 time.
Meanwhile, custody sergeant Christine Howard is motivated by her father, whose health has rapidly deteriorated since he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) four years ago.
On Sunday 24 May 2020, they will both be taking on the marathon challenge to raise awareness of MND and also supporting West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable Chris Johnson who was told he had MND at the end of 2018.
DS Trudy Gittins, a West Midlands Police officer and Federation representative, was inspired by ACC Johnson’s approach to his diagnosis and decided to run the full marathon to raise funds for two charities offering support to the family – the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) and the Primrose Hospice in Bromsgrove - and encouraged others to join her.
So far, more than 350 police officers, police staff, friends, family and little ones have signed up including colleagues and friends from all over the country to run either the full or half marathon or the 5K or one-mile events.
For Shaun, it will be the first time he has run the streets of Liverpool, with his previous marathon efforts including London and Paris.
He said: “I’ve never done the Liverpool Marathon so this was a good opportunity to run in a new place while at the same time raising awareness of MND.
“Hopefully, as a collective, we can raise thousands of pounds for MND. And on a personal level a time under three hours would be nice. A personal best would be excellent. Sub 2:55 would be a dream.”
Christine explains: “Every time I train I feel grateful for the physical freedom this gives me, watching this (MND) happen to a loved one is probably the hardest thing I’ve been part of. Funding research to get a cure for this disease is a huge motivator for me.”