A 31-strong team called ‘Running for Rick’ ran a combined total of 237 miles in memory of much-loved Watford man Ricky Davey at Sunday’s Rotary-organised Berkhamsted Half Marathon and Fun Run.
Ten of them did the whole 13.2 miles, while the other 21 took on the 5-mile Fun Run to raise vital funds for The Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted, where Ricky, 54, spent the last days of his life in November last year.
The team travelled from as far away as Ireland to take part and have so far raised over £4,600 of their £5,000 fundraising target to help the Hospice raise the over £5 million it needs every year to help people live their precious lives well.
Ricky’s wife Helen, 54, from Woodhurst Avenue, Watford, said: “Ricky, or Rick Rick as he was known to so many of us, was loved by so many people - including my niece Isabelle Chase - Ricky was her hero. There were school friends and former pupils from The Abbey School, St Albans, colleagues, friends and girls from the Gaelic football team I played with who’ve now returned to Ireland.
“We all wanted to give something back to the Hospice because the care Ricky received there was absolutely amazing.
“When we arrived, he cried because he was so overwhelmed by how lovely everyone was after spending three weeks in Watford Hospital where he was bed number 7. They couldn’t do enough for us both. He loved the outdoors so the view of the gardens from his room was just perfect, Chris the chef makes the most amazing porridge and the night before Ricky died, they made up a big bed for me beside him and brought me extra blankets because he wanted the window open.
“He wanted to go back there and joked that when he was better he’d get a job there as a Maintenance Man. We thought we had at least 12-18 months to live but sadly it wasn’t to be.”
The youngest member of Team Ricky was AJ, aged 13, and the oldest, a lady in her 70’s. “It was hilly and wet,” said Helen, “but it was lovely because we were all in orange with Ricky’s picture on our T-shirts and to know we were doing it so other people can have the same amazing care Ricky had is a great feeling. One team member Marty, who only met Ricky once, has raised £1,000 on his own.”
The team’s Just Giving page, set up by Isabelle, has reached over £5,000 in fundraising to help the Hospice. If you’d like to help the team smash their target, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/running4rick
For more information about the Hospice and it’s next frothy fundraising 5k Bubble Rush Herts in Gadebridge Park, Hemel, on Sunday 12th May, visit www.stfrancis.org.uk . For regular updates, follow the charity on Facebook www.facebook.com/thehospiceofstfrancis/ and Twitter @hospicstfrancis