Peterborough man Richard Ostler has confirmed he will be taking part in this year's Great Eastern Run in aid of the Sue Ryder charity.

The half marathon hosted by Good Running Events is set to be held on October 15 across the city, which a new improved route through the historic cathedral this year.

Sue Ryder runs the Thorpe Hall Hospice, located on Thorpe Road, and is the charity partner for this year’s run.

Richard has already confirmed he will be running for the hospice that cared for his father, David in May this year.

He is taking part in the run, after being inspired by the level of care and kindness that his father received. Since launching his campaign he has already exceeded his target of  £600

Richard said: “The care there was exceptional, it was so different from anywhere else. It was peaceful, friendly, and welcoming.

"The thing that really struck me was the time staff had to be with Dad and with us as a family.

"They listened without judgement. The environment was beautiful, with a view out onto the garden. We could even take dad’s dog in to sit with him. It really made a difference.”

He has grown up with connections to Sue Ryder, but the care that his father received was the only first-hand experience he had.

He said “My sister-in-law previously worked as communications officer for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, while my uncle volunteers in the hospice in-patient unit and my aunt is a volunteer fundraiser.

Dad’s sister also died at the Peterborough hospice some years ago, and dad was born in Thorpe Hall when it was a maternity unit’”

Commenting on his choice to join this fundraiser, Richard said: “When my dad was in the hospice there were leaflets there for the Great Eastern Run.

"I have done a couple of 100-mile cycle events before which as a regular cyclist doesn’t feel like that much of a challenge, so I thought if I am going to do something to fundraise then I need to make it a challenge for me, which is why I signed up to the Great Eastern Run.

"It’s my way of saying 'thank you' for the care that the staff provided, and I know how much the charity relies so heavily on donations from the community.”

Richard’s father was a keen walker and was diagnosed with sarcoma in his foot in 2019, which required his leg to be amputated below the knee.

While he was determined to get walking again, which he did with the help of his prosthetic, unfortunately the cancer spread.

Richard commented: “For dad, losing his foot and not being able to do everything he wanted to do, was a big deal but he was so determined he would walk and even at the end when it became more difficult, he still tried!  We underestimated how tough it was for him to learn to walk again.”

Amy Hall, community fundraiser at the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice said:  “We are delighted that Richard is running the Great Eastern Run for Sue Ryder, to allow our care teams to continue to care for those in their last days.

"We are heavily dependent on fundraisers like this to keep on providing our care and would encourage anyone to take part for a brilliant cause.”

You can sponsor Richard through his fundraising page here. You can also find out more about the 2023 Great Eastern Run here including registration details.