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Virgin London Marathon 2019 – 28th April 2019

This year 12 Pershore Plum Plodders members took part in the Virgin London Marathon 2019.

The following Plums (as seen in the picture above from left to right) earnt their right to a place through different entry types as follows:

Steve Potter – Club ballot place

Ken Butler – Good for age place

Steve Leighfield – Charity place: Children with Cancer UK

Debbie Morris – Charity place: CLIC Sargent Young Lives VS Cancer

Ann Hewlett – Charity place: Kidney Care UK

Hazel Tolley – Charity place: PHAB Kids!

David Glover – Charity place: Teenage Cancer Trust

Mandy Neal – Good for age place and also chose to raise money for Worcestershire Breast Unit Haven

Karen Hinks – Good for age place

Julie Westcott – Good for age place

Andrea Holmes – Regular ballot place and chose to raise money for St Richards Hospice

Julie Herbert – Charity place: Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust

We, as a club, are very proud of our members who took part in this hugely popular event and I am pleased to report that they all finished safely. Between them, these Plums raised a phenomenal amount of money for good causes which they should all feel very proud of.

A large amount of our members also travelled down to London to offer some Plum support and to soak up the wonderful atmosphere of the whole day – Well done all !

Steve Potter was the lucky Plum whose name was picked out of the hat at our annual Plum Christmas party and here he gives us his take on his London Marathon journey:

“Turning into The Mall legs screaming, lungs screaming and crowds screaming, the Finish Line in sight, the last few strides of a journey that started with a FB message one Saturday night late last year.
Sitting around, blind drunk with my old racing buddies, reminiscing about events that happened over 30 years ago is hardly the best time to find out you have got a place in the biggest running event on the planet, but that is exactly how this tale of woe starts.
My phone bleeped and I noticed a text off Ann. Why was she messaging me at this time on a Saturday night? 
My first thought was ‘I will just ignore it until morning’, but you know how it is, you have to take a peek…….

Ann: ‘You have the London Marathon place!’
Me: ‘Are you having a laugh?’
Ann: ‘Nope get training!’

Training was great, I really enjoyed Trevor’s long Sunday runs. I got to know so many Plums who I don’t normally chat to, I ran up the nasty hill at Illmington for the first time in years, but the best part was doing the Forest of Dean half with Trev.  It was a beautiful day and the race went like a dream.
Four months passed in a blink of an eye and before I knew it I was on a train to London.
Friday slipped into Saturday and next thing I know, I am opening my eyes on Sunday morning, MARATHON DAY!

The VMLM is so well organized it would be hard to mess things up on race day, even if you tried.  It was a long wait to get going, but the time passed quickly in nervous excited chat with fellow runners.  Then our seemingly endless snake which was our group Z7 started to move towards the start, ‘here we go again!’ I thought.  How do I get myself into these situations? I don’t know, but I seem to have been doing it in one form or another since I was a lad.  As we turned the last corner and we got our first view of the start, the line picked up speed to a jog, then over the start mat and the race was on.  Absorbing all the energy from the cheering crowds to propel us down the opening straight, I can honestly say in all my years of racing I have never known anything like it.  I loved it, fed off the energy of the crowd and at times I certainly played up to it.

Ten miles flew by, and I could see we were heading back towards central London.  I knew the main Plum posse would be on Tower Bridge and I could not wait to see them, knowing they would give me a boost.  As much as the race was going smoothly and I wanted to savour every moment, I was well aware of the hurt that was fast approaching in the next few miles. I was long past my happy place but I kept my spirits up by feeding off the crowd, but nothing picks you up like an unexpected Plum voice ringing out from the crowd.
At 20 miles it would be easy to think, ‘I’ve got this –  it’s only 2 Parkruns to go!’, but as the legs stiffen and the pain dulls out, the cheering crowds and the miles seem longer and longer. It’s important to keep your composure and keep doing your thing.  At 1 Parkrun to go the miles seemed to be taking forever to tick off and it was way too soon to relax as I saw a heartbroken runner being taken off the course in a wheelchair, still plenty of time for things to go wrong.

I always thought that the last mile of a marathon would be one to savour, but I knew from experience that this is not always the case.  Then, with 600 metres to go, you know you are going to make it even if you have to crawl across the finish, but it is still way too far to start your final push for the line.  Into The Mall next and the last reserves of energy are drained in the rush for the line.  If only the pain of the run would leave your body immediately after crossing the line, but experience again told me that this is not the end of the torture – it is the beginning of the end of the punishment you have just paid good money to put yourself through.  It will take agonizing minutes for your body to start becoming human again.
I picked up my medal, and completely forget about getting a photo with it.  In fact the only interest I had in life was food and in no particular order I started stuffing my face with all the grub in the VMLM goodie bag!  At this point I heard Ann calling at me. I looked round but couldn’t speak, as it’s rude to talk with your mouth full, not that I could have got a word in edgeways, as she was bubbling. She certainly banged out a fantastic run and I am sure the VMLM exceeded all her expectations, I am made up for her and she certainly put the work into training.  I would also like to shout out to all the other Plums who ran that day especially the Plums who qualified with a good for age place – you rock guys!

The biggest thing I will take from this experience is all the good wishes and messages of support I received on the run up to the event, it certainly made carrying the responsibility of the Plum place a lot lighter.  I would also like to wish all the future winners of the place all the luck, support and fun. Ultimately it was a very satisfying marathon, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I know it’s not much of an ending, but this is not the end.  When I took the Plum EA place, I made a promise to myself, and that was to run another marathon this year.  I want to be a marathon runner, not just someone who has run the London marathon.”
Steve Potter


Run Leaders

From left: Simon Gardner, Suzanne Price, Trevor Clark, Helen Carlisle, Stephen Morris.

Our run leaders are all qualified Leaders In Running Fitness (LIRF). The run leaders are there to lead different paced groups on a Plod night and to help keep you safe whilst running.
Although everyone in that group sticks together, be sure to listen to the running route and any instructions before and during the run as your safety is paramount to us.

Pershore Plum Plodders proud to donate to Parkrun

Saturday 20th April 2019

This Saturday at Worcester Woods Parkrun, the Pershore Plum Plodders were very happy and proud to sponsor £100 towards the £800 target for the “Scrubber appeal” including parts/service for the defibrillator machine. With a lot of our members using the woods each week, we felt that it was only right to offer them a donation and additionally, a lot of our members individually donated to help raise this much needed amount.

As of yesterday, £468 in sponsorship has been received but donations are still needed so if you use the park, and especially if you are a Parkrunner,  then please donate by using the following link and help by doing your bit.

 Link to Worcester Woods Parkrun Facebook page:

Link to donate:

New Mental Health Champions

We are pleased to announce that the club now has four mental health ambassadors who are committed to increasing the mental health support available to our members and promoting the benefits of running for good mental health.

The team (Sian Thomas, Stephen Morris, Helen Carlisle and Pete Dunderdale) are available for chats, hugs, pep talks and they can also point you in the direction of professional support if you need it. Read more here

Donation to Pershore Volunteer Centre


plum plodders donation

This year’s Pershore Plum 10K saw us raise £1500 for local Charities. One of those charities was the Pershore Volunteer Centre.

We dropped in before christmas to present them a cheque for £500 and chat a bit more about what great things they do for the local people and how the donation will help.

They are currently looking for new volunteers to help so have a read of the services they offer and maybe get in touch to help?

Pershore Volunteer Centre is the local partner delivering Community Travel in Worcestershire which provides help for residents who are unable to make essential journeys by public transport. Within their team of volunteer driver provide transport for residents of Pershore and the surrounding villages for those who have limited mobility or are unable to use public transport. Transport under this scheme is available for registered clients only, to comply with insurance and other regulations, although registration is a very simple procedure. Each volunteer undergoes a rigorous vetting process including a DBS check to ensure we maintain the highest standards and to provide added reassurance to our service users.

They have two separate elements within the community transport service: volunteers in the car scheme drive their own cars, taking clients on pre-booked journeys; use of their minibuses (Training applies), which are adapted for wheelchair users, provide Dial-a-Ride services for shopping or other social activities and are also available for group hire. Although the services are dependent upon the availability of volunteers, they are able to offer travel for social activities, including shopping, visiting friends and relatives, or attending lunch clubs or other community events, and medical appointments including surgeries, clinics and hospitals.

They have two fully accessible minibuses which are used for group transport and they currently provide a Thursday shopping service for Pershore residents, taking them to the Co-op which will deliver shopping later in the day. Like all their transport, this is a pre-bookable service only, but a phone call is sufficient to book your seat.

They are also planning to introduce a regular programme of outings to other destinations including shopping, social, cultural or other interests, and will be publicising these in due course. These minibuses are available for hire by community or other not-for-profit groups at very competitive rates, so if you are involved in a local group we may be able to help your members with transport to meetings, or to social events.


The services are dependent on a willing band of volunteers who give up some of their time to support other residents who experience a range of transport difficulties which impacts on their general health and well-being. Living in such a beautiful rural area they are conscious that the limited availability of public transport can cause both rural and social isolation for those who have no alternative means of transport, and loneliness is a significant feature in the lives of older people.

Volunteering is the gift of free time, not a free gift, so all their volunteers receive expenses as reimbursement for their mileage (for using your own car), to ensure they are not out-of-pocket. We also offer a range of training, from informal in-house briefings to formal courses, dependent on the volunteer role, as well as on-going support from our friendly office-based team.

For more information contact:

Pershore Volunteer Centre
1 Billing House
WR10 1EY

Tel 01386 554299

Registered Charity No 1166141