LETTER: Really make a difference

Your letters
Your letters

I am writing to invite your readers to sign up to be a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Heart Runner at this year’s Blenheim Palace Half Marathon and 10km on 2 October to help fight back against heart disease.

Twenty years ago, I was fortunate enough to represent Great Britain at Atlanta’s Olympics Games, winning silver in the 400m and 4x400m relay.

This incredible achievement might not have been possible. At the age of 11, doctors discovered that I had congenital heart disease and my aortic valve was leaking. Doctors agreed I could take part in competitive sports as long as I was closely monitored through yearly hospital appointments. I attended each appointment for 39 years, missing just one to attend the Atlanta Olympic Games.

Two decades on, as I watch this year’s Olympic Games in Rio, my memories of the iconic event flood back. Uniting people across the globe, through the love of sport, it was a truly inspiring moment.

But you don’t have to be an Olympian to get the feeling I had when you’re on the podium. I am delighted to be supporting the BHF’s Blenheim Palace 10km and Half Marathon. The event will see floods of people uniting in the fight against heart disease - for every mile you run, you will be helping fund the BHF’s life saving research, which has benefited me and seven million others across the UK. What better feeling is there?

In the South East, there are an estimated 920,000 people living with heart and circulatory disease and it is responsible for nearly 22,000 deaths each year. But by taking part in this event, you can really make a difference.

Alongside around 3,000 amazing Heart Runners who have already signed up, we want to raise in excess of £180,000 for the BHF’s vital research into heart and circulatory disease.

If you’re feeling inspired by watching and cheering on this generation of Olympians, become a Heart Runner and sign up to run 2km, 10km or a half marathon through the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace.

To register for the Blenheim Palace 2km fun run, 10k or Half Marathon please visit www.bhf.org.uk/Blenheim or you can find out more about the BHF’s programme of running events by visiting bhf.org.uk/events or by contacting the events team at events@bhf.org.uk or 0845 130 8663

Roger Black MBE

BHF’s Ambassador for Research, British Heart Foundation, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7AW

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